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.
Here's a whole bunch of them for London: http://www.medicalmuseums.org/museum-map/ On that list I've only been to the Wellcome Museum. Excellent contemporary exhibits that the general public can relate to.
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.
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. http://www.sziklakorhaz.eu/en
There are also medical museums in Vienna. I confess that I've never gone to them. http://www.josephinum.meduniwien.ac.at/home/museen/en/
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!
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.
Visit Stephanie's sister in London.
The Hans Memling Museum in Bruges is located in Sint-Janshospitaal, one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe. They have displays of old medical instruments and other items pertinent to a medieval hospital. They also have some fine paintings by Memling, a 15th-century Northern European artist. http://www.brugge.be/internet/en/musea/Hospitaalmuseum/Historische_hospitalen_1/index.htm
Museum at University of Bologna. Looks interesting - it was closed when I was there unfortunately
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.
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.
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.
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.
The science museum in Florence has some great medical displays. I visited with a medical student who really loved them.
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.
The Heidelberg Schloß contains a pharmacy museum, for some reason. It's more interesting than it sounds.
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.