Karfreitag / Good Friday 2007. When digitizing old slides, I found these interesting ones – they show the large ward at the hospital at Beaune in the Bourgogne. The hospices de Beaune were founded in 1442 by Nicolas Rolin. A M.A. thesis at the university of Tübingen has more details – charity as part of the social status (page 26) and a reason why the initials of Nicolas Rolin (and his third wife) can be found all over the place. Central to the sickroom was a polyptichon of the Last Judgement as a symbol of the fugacious life. Already Hippocrates knew that “Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult” – facts that clinical medicine today more and more ignores.
A contemporary portrayal of the grande salle is at culture.fr. Rich and aristocratic people had smaller rooms and there was an extra room for moribund patients. The nurses themselves had a sleeping room with 8 beds in the second floor. They should be at least 18 years and not older than 30 years; they were allowed personal belongings but could leave the hospital only two by two
When starting in a surgery clinic in 1978 we still had large septical wards. This certainly had some logistic advantages for the nurses and the patients had always some entertainment.