The old civil hospital of Strasbourg: 45 buildings over some 23 hectares
Strasbourg's civil hospital, with its 45 buildings strung out over some 23 hectares of land, could claim to be a town in its own right. The original hospital was built in 1398 and burnt down by a fire in 1716. The only remnants of the old buildings are the choir of the 15th century St Erhard's Chapel, the Cellar with its collection of wine vats (a white wine barrelled in 1477 can still be found there) the 14th-16th century maison des sœurs and, not to be missed, the old bakery, a vast, extraordinary building with the half-timbered walls, passages and immense sloping roof typical of the 16th century.
The new civil hospital, built in 2008
When the old hospital burn down, the city replaced it with new buildings, completed in 1725, their architecture borrowing both from the Rhine Renaissance and the latest French influences. The hospital gradually expanded throughout the 19th century, while several new buildings were erected while the city was under German rule, including the Institute of haematology (1886), the Institute of anatomy (1874 - 1877) and the Institute of dermatology (1908). This spate of new buildings showed the importance the Germans placed in the development of scientific and medical studies in Strasbourg. Of the more recent buildings, there is a curious, building of somewhat singular architecture, decorated with an animal frieze on the southern facing and built in 1921.
The new civil hospital was designed by Claude Vasconi and opened in 2008, thus adding 21st-century features to the existing 18th, 19th and 20th century medical architecture of the site.