Europe attractions for medical interest

The engineer interest topic got me thinking, so I thought I would piggy-back. What attractions do you recommend for people interested in medical history and innovation? I'll start by recommending two I recently enjoyed: the Ignaz Semmelweis museum (for those who don't know, he pioneered the idea that doctors washing their hands could lower maternal mortality rates) in Budapest and the Freud museum in Vienna.

Posted by Tom
2876 posts

The Hunterian Museum in London is a very good one. Named after Dr. John Hunter, a pioneering Scottish surgeon and medical scientist of the late 1700's.

Posted by James E.
3498 posts

The Hospital in the Rock was built within the ancient tunnels under the Budapest Castle District during WWII and was extensively used when Budapest was under siege from 1944-45 and in 1956 during the revolution. It was upgraded and extended as a nuclear bunker in the early '60s because of the Cold War. Nowadays it is an exhibition displaying the life in the hospital with wax figures as well as the history of military surgery and civil defense. The control room and associated machinery are still in operating conditions. After 1956 the location was intentionally "forgotten" and it became a very secret installation. Interestingly a husband and wife team whose residence backed up to the underground complex were assigned the task to secretly maintain the place for 45 years.

Posted by Love to Travel
San Diego, CA
126 posts

I second the hospital in the rock in Budapest. Really cool. Also, since I'm a nurse the Florence Nightingale museum in London. Thank god for Semmelweiss's findings!

Posted by Swan
Napa, CA
3144 posts

Siena. Near the cathedral there is a museum of medieval medicine. As I recall, the entrance is facing the entrance to the cathedral just across a courtyard. Brugge also had a hospital/museum from medieval times.

Posted by bronwen
maplewood, new jersey, usa
790 posts

Museum at University of Bologna. Looks interesting - it was closed when I was there unfortunately

Posted by Sarah
Calgary, Ab, Canada
68 posts

I also think the Hospital in the Rock is fantastic. Great to see a bunker from an eastern perspective. The propaganda posters were fascinating. Also, where else can you buy a gas mask or a first aid kit from the 60s as a souvenir? The Memling Museum was good-very tasteful-more like a real museum; whereas HITR was grittier. Thanks for the neat suggestions.

Posted by Sarah
Stuttgart, Germany
2029 posts

Not necessarily worth going super out of your way for, but if you're in southwestern germany, the pharmacy museum in the Heidelberg schloss would be of interest.

Posted by Matt
Washington, DC, USA
571 posts

The Surgeons' Hall Museums, at the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, Scotland, was on my to-do list when I visited that city, but unfortunately I ran out of time. I sure does look interesting.

Posted by Margaret
Aschaffenburg, Germany
14 posts

I could kick myself. I was just in Budapest last October and didn't make time for the Hospital in the Rock.
And I lived in Edinburgh for months, took a medical history course at the university, but somehow never heard about the The Surgeons' Hall Museums? I will take this as encouragement to do more thoughtful planning on future trips. Fortunately, being based in Germany, it is very likely that I can get to the museums mentioned in Dresden and Berlin. Thank you all so far for the great suggestions.

Posted by HK
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
115 posts

The science museum in Florence has some great medical displays. I visited with a medical student who really loved them.

Posted by Allen
Lafayette, LA
207 posts

I went to the Freud Museum in Vienna, certainly worth a few hours if you are in the mental health care business. Make sure to check out Dr Freud's chair. It looks like one of the space station chairs in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Until I went to the museum, I'd always thought that the psychoanalysis business flourished in Vienna post WWII. But the reality was exactly the oppposite. When Freud fled Vienna to escape the Nazi persecution of the Jewish intelligentia, psychoanalysis and research was almost non-existent there until the 1970's.

Posted by Tom
Lewiston, NY
10640 posts

The Heidelberg Schloß contains a pharmacy museum, for some reason. It's more interesting than it sounds.

Posted by Lesley
Sidney, BC, Canada
436 posts

The beautiful (and probably rather uncomfortable)anatomy theatre at the university in Padua.....built in the late 1500's. The university is interesting - first mentioned in 1222 and with a list of graduands including Galileo, Copernicus.