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Recent articles

Nov 23, 2017

A string of pop-up stores have opened their doors this week in downtown Brussels, as part of a ma...

Nov 23, 2017

Federal state secretary Philippe De Backer (Open Vld) has brought together Belgium’s main p...

Nov 23, 2017

A major fire at a waffle factory in Forest sent clouds of thick black smoke over southern Brussel...

Nov 23, 2017

The tree is up, the stalls are in place and the nativity is good to go: Winter Wonders officially...

Lessines wins funding to complete restoration of Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose

Jul 4, 2017

It’s a modern-day miracle. The Hôpital Notre-Dame à la Rose, one of Europe’s longest running hospitals, was facing possible demolition before a group of local volunteers campaigned to save it. Since 2000, the building has been undergoing resurrection, being listed as an exceptional heritage building; now, thanks to a subsidy of €521,815 from the Walloon region, its rehabilitation can be completed.

The museum in Lessines, near Tournai, has become an important tourist attraction, as one of the finest examples of a complete and self-sufficient community from the Middle Ages. The rare architectural ensemble includes a Baroque chapel, 16th-century cloisters, gardens with medicinal plants, convent, hospital wards, farm and ice house.

It was built in 1242 as a hospital for the poor by French princess Alix de Rosoit in honour of her late husband, lord of Lessines Arnould IV d’Oudenaarde. A religious community was also founded here, and the hospital continued as a geriatric service until 1980.

Today, it provides a fascinating insight into medieval life and the evolution of medicine. One exhibition explains the history of medicine and pharmacy from the 15th to 19th century; a second, From Ambroise Paré to Louis Pasteur, is a long-running show that features a large cabinet of scientific curiosities.


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