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Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose

Hospital Our Lady with the Rose


Our Lady with the Rose Hospital (Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose) was established in 1242 for the care of the poor and the sick. In the centuries that followed, the expansion of the flourishing religious community necessitated successive renovations. The oldest part of the complex dates from the thirteenth century, but later expansions were added in the same Gothic style to create unity. The cloisters are particularly noteworthy, as they are separated from the courtyard by stained-glass windows, contrary to the usual practice.

A diverse art collection is preserved in the hospital, including paintings, Gothic and Renaissance furniture, silverwork, and manuscripts. The collection was established partly through donations from wealthy families whose daughters joined the community and partly through artworks that the prioresses commissioned from renowned artists. Some of the most important pieces in the collection include a fifteenth-century copy of Our Lady of Grace of Cambrai, a sixteenth-century Lamentation of Christ in which Christ is depicted with breasts – a reference to mystical writings that attribute female and motherly as well as other qualities to him – and an anonymous Allegory of Monastic Life from the same century.

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