The first establishment was a "barn used as an almshouse" for poor and ill people in 1668 run by charity women. Situated on les Pâtis, between the Rue de la Brêche and the fountain de Marolles, this building was rent by the Navy in 1689 to receive the "plague-stricken" patients.In fact, in the XVIth, XVIIth and even XVIIIth centuries this term included the plague, and also the cholera and other infectious diseases such as the typhus fever.
These revenues permitted to look after the poor but also the forsaken children, the inmates and since 1720, soldiers and sailors. During the wars against England, it was called St Louis hospital like the former Navy hospital. Because of the great number of injured soldiers, it became short of staff, the task being too heavy for the Charity Sisters..
In 1761, four, and later, five sisters of the monastic order, Sisters of Wisdom, came from Vendée to take the hospital in charge. A doctor from the city attended the poor gratis. As for the soldiers they received cares from a doctor and three surgeons from the Navy. There was also a chaplain in the establishment. In 1779, the sisters opened a hospital for "venereal" patients. Things went on for the best till the Revolution, on account of two resolutions : the suppression of privileges which deprived the hospital of a great part of its revenues, the chaplain being under oath of allegiance to the Constitution, the seven sisters resigned and left Port-Louis on October 8th 1791. A committee of five citizens, which chairman was the Mayor, was entrusted with the management of the hospital, and to replace the sisters,four widows were called "hospital citizens".
The Sisters of Wisdom gave cooperation to the Navy Hospital during the epidemic in May 1859, and they staid until 1906.During the first World War (1914-1918) the establishment received refugees on several occasions.
From the beginning of the second World War (1939-1945) the establishment had to face successive waves of ill refugees coming from the North of France, and they even had to find place for fifty children from Rouen in the eight sisters' care. And on June 21st 1940, the German soldiers arrived in Port-Louis… Provisioning was difficult, bombardments started : so the children went back to Rouen and the hospital found shelter in Crevy castle, near Ploermel, in July 1942.
The resumption of residence in Port-Louis took place in July 1946 in a building damaged by the troops.
A new director and a treasurer put a new organization in place. Modern detached buildings and a chapel were constructed to reach 300 beds in 1965.
But on December 31st 1977, considering the amount of work to face, the Sisters of Wisdom cancelled their agreement with the hospital.
The buildings you can see today are the most recent ones.
|last modification : 05 27 2005|