PAN Paris

Private Guided Tour (in English) of the Salpétrière Hospital

  • Private Guided Tour (in English) of the Musée de l’Assistance Publique – Hôpitaux de Paris
    November 15, 2017
    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Private Guided Tour (in English) of the Salpétrière Hospîtal


The Salpêtrière was originally a gunpowder factory (saltpetre being a constituent of gunpowder), but in 1656 at the direction of Louis XIV, it was converted into a hospice for the poor of Paris. It also served as a prison for prostitutes, and a holding place for the mentally disabled, criminally insane, epileptics, and the poor. Although the Pitié-Salpêtrière was much admired for it’s architecture, it provided unsatisfactory living conditions for its inhabitants. The building was enlarged in 1684.

After the French revolution it was transformed and became a hospice for the elderly. In the first half of the 19th century, the early humanitarian reforms in the treatment of the mentally ill were initiated there by Philippe Pinel (1745–1826). The iconic image of Pinel as the liberator of the insane was created in 1876 by Tony Robert-Fleury: Pinel’s sculptural monument stands before the main entrance in Place Marie-Curie. Doctor Pinel  paved the way for the work of professor Charcot who took over the department in 1825. Under his guidance, the Salpêtrière became celebrated as a psychiatric teaching centre, Charcot is best remembered for his work on the diagnosis of hysteria, and also helped elucidate the natural history of many diseases including neurosyphilis, epilepsy, and stroke.

Today, the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a celebrated teaching hospital of the Sorbonne University and is one of Europe’s largest hospitals.


We are going to discover the architecture and the history of this hospital during this guided tour.



15€ for members, 18€ for non-members.

To sign up, please contact Geneviève Lobier at and purchase your ticket(s) with the links above.


47 Boulevard de l’Hôpital, Paris, 75013, France