Thursday, May 21, 2009

Statue Hotel Dieu


The same day I photographed La Fête du pain, I took advantage of being on the île de la Cité to venture inside the Hotel-Dieu hospital. According to Wikipedia it's the oldest hospital in Paris- it was founded in 651 AD!  - and is still used today (hopefully, they renewed it since 651!). Needless to say it's a fabulous piece of architecture and I seriously encourage you to enter and visit it if you happen to be on the île de la Cité one day. At the end of the inside garden there is a statue which originally represents a famous French surgeon called Guillaume Dupuytren, born in 1777. But every year, med students dress him fancy... I'm unable to tell you what this character is, but I can let you discover his previous looks!

46 comments:

  1. 651 AD?? Yes, that is pretty old! Don't think I've ever seen this statue, but I love it! Must go back and see his other costumes.

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  2. I like the one from 1993 -- Asterix! Doesn't the Hotel-Dieu have rooms that they rent out like a hotel? Great location certainly.

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  3. This character looks vaguely familiar. Is it the Cat in the Hat?

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  4. The Cat in the Hat! That's what I thought of at first glance.

    Let's see, would that be La Chat en Chapeau? :-)

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  5. I think you might be correct about the Cat in the Hat, Alexa. GF again!

    It's this kind of wacky information that makes your blog priceless, Eric!!! I always have something amusing or interesting to say about Paris, all thanks to you.

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  6. I'm having second thoughts about this being the Cat in the Hat, just because that character had a striped hat (and I don't think he wore a cape). This is the sort of thing that could make me seriously nuts.

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  7. Moi, aussi, Suzy! I haven't even heard of this in a guidebook. I am always fascinated by Eric's curiosity, which I take on for myself.

    This reminds me of Mannikin Pis in Brussels. In that case, the statue of the peeing boy has tons of outfits that are stored for him to wear.
    They also have Annnikin Pis, but I will hand it over to Tall Gary for any links. I can't even figure out how to put my pix. on.

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  8. What a fun tradition. It does rather look like the Cat in the Hat. However, it seems he held his breath until he was blue in the face. I think I have a photo of the outside of the Hotel-Dieu that I snapped from a tour bus. You never know what's behind a Parisian facade. Thanks, Eric.

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  9. Well, Alexa, I guess your crown will have to look like thecatinthehat hat.

    Loved the Brat hat from yesterday.

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  10. It's amazing how after all this years, they keep dress him up like this!:)Dark Vador is my favorite and I agree with Alexa that this year is the Cat in the Hat.
    I'm wandering...What does Guillaume Dupuytren would think about this outfit? :)

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  11. I thought that one could not enter the Hotel Dieu and I'm disappointed because I certainly would have stopped there when I was in the neighborhood. (Although the statue would have been a surprise!) Ah, well, another thing for the next trip. : ) What an amazing history. I remember seeing an old photo of it from a distance and from the air, all torn apart as it underwent reconstruction - I think in the late 1800's. Thanks for the tour and for the teaser about Guillaume Dupuytren, Eric!

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  12. You know, it strikes me that this is sort of like alot of the grafitti I noticed in Paris or on PDP - something you would never see here in the US - the French give themselves permission to make whimsical art and visual jokes or just plain have fun in public and so its part of the culture. I can't imagine people doing it here. Instead, there would be secret cameras set up to catch the vandals! I also wonder though, what the French find to be too much in this department - what crosses the line. Its another one of those unspoken cultural norms that informs so much but is all under the radar.

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  13. I think I saw a piece about this hospital the other day cause I remember something about it being very, very old.

    It amazes me how these buildings and institutions in Europe are so well kept. Isn't it incredible to step into a place that's been there since 651 AD??!!!!

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  14. PHX when I visited Brussels Mannikin Pis was dressed in a hockey uniform!!!

    Very amusing this little guy is!

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  15. Thanks to PHX-CDG we can compare Eric’s Paris with Brussels whose most famous little sprout might be this guy? Or could it be this little angel? What of their pet?

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  16. Oh Tall Gary,I couldn't resist one more peek to see if you posted. Bloggers, you won't be disappointed, but TG, I love your added twist of THEIR pet,LOL LOL. You amaze me and entertain me!Wait, I can say that about Eric, too!

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  17. The costume certainly looks like that of Papa Smurf's in Les Schtroumpfs, isn't it?

    And yes, I saw the Mannikin Pis when I was in Brussels but I don't remember him wearing any special outfit...takes a special occasion to see that?

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  18. Hey, not a bad way to be memorialized. ;-) I love Snow White; she is rather endowed. I'm talking about the big fists. :-) As to this artistic creation, it's rather a French Count in the Hat IMO. Either way, he is painted to ready the town. (oops! reverse that). Merci Eric. You've brought the goods again.

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  19. That is an amazing thing. 651 AD, and still a hospital.

    Love the dressing up as well. I love inventive colors and ideas!

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  20. Whenever I see this hospital (which is right next to Notre Dame), I always say to myself, "Self, I hope you never have to be admitted there!". But now that I've seen this view, I've changed my opinion.

    How did you find the link with all of the decorated statues??? It's fantastic to see all of the creativity.

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  21. Like Carrie, I wish I'd known I could enter the grounds. Wow, what a place. The statue is interesting, but the architecture - wow. I'd love to see more! I kept clicking on the statue photos that had the most "building" in the background. So fascinating, thanks, Eric!

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  22. That is hilarious Eric. I loved the one from 2008 - the Joker - especially since our Heath Ledger played him just before his death.
    I still can't get over the 651 AD.

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  23. I never thought one could enter the place either. I would have done so if I knew. Another thing to put on my list, which is so long that I never get around all of it. I always have to choose and leave something for next time...

    It's such a funny tradition that the students dress up this statue. And it's amazing that they're allowed.

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  24. I thought it was the Cat in the Hat, too... though a cat doesn't have big fists.

    Alexa, congrats again, GF!

    I have to lie down after looking at those photos of the Mannikin Pis. So clever, but I can't get over the image of the pis being taken out of Nelson Mandela!

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  25. But c'est un Schtroumpf (or schtrumpf for you?)!! Enfin!
    It can't be the Cat in the Hat because it doesn't exist in France...

    651?? Pretty old, but actually not surprising: there is a Roman temple in the garden of the hospital, a temple used later as a church.It's a beautiful place.

    Have a nice long weekend Eric!

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  26. Operating continuously since 651? Wow.

    Fun that the hospital allows the students to play around with statue!

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  27. I was right—there is a hotel here. It's on the 6th floor of the hospital. Like I said, what a location!

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  28. Of course it's a Smurf (Schtroumpf)!!!!! No doubt about it. As Guille said the french don't know about the Cat in the Hat. Have a nice bridge (pont) everyone...

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  29. Amazing photo and statue!
    At the first glance, I saw the face of a funny and smiling monkey but with a focus on his face I really don't see that at all... I see a very digne but slightly worried face of a kind of gentleman! Don't know if it's an optic illusion due to my mobile screen or not but I feel it pretty cool. In any case, definitely not a schtroumpf :)
    I couldn't see that at first glance since I was driving yesterday when I had a little Look at Pdp. Hope the weather is sunny in Paris. Always miss Paris... ;)

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  30. Gosh what a great idea, I love all those different outfits. How do they remove the paint each time? Or is it just put on top of the last one. Eek?

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  31. I follow Guille and Remi, c'est le Grand Schtroumpf himself!
    How do you call him in english? Great Smurf?


    Thanks Eric, I never went inside the building
    Not so in love with hospitals when not needed
    I was just close to the place yesterday, when I get back there, I think I'll try to have a look

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  32. It seems you call him Papa Smurf, the only one with red garments

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  33. I'm with Guille, Rémi and Lili, he is le Grand Schtroumf, Papa Smurf!
    I love the gallery with all the variations...

    Alexa, thanks for the link to Hospitel. It's a good idea for a not so expensive hotel in the middle of Paris ;-)

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  34. I feel scared with that photo. When I was a child I coudn't look at clowns like that.

    Valery

    Barcelona Daily Photo
    Trujillo Daily Photo

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  35. Vive le Grand Schtroumpf !
    Ca faisait longtemps .....

    Alors je peux aussi vous schtroumpfer qu'il y a une jolie schtroumpfe Romaine à schtroumpfer sous le parvis de Notre Dame, qui doit être de la même schtroumpfe que le Temple dans l'Hôtel-Schtroumpf.
    Et je laisse à Guille, notre Schtroumpfette nationale, le soin de traduire pour nos Schtroumpfs Américains.

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  36. Alexa, what a great link to the hotel. It would be fun to stay there some day, what a great location. I'd never heard about this before, thank you !

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  37. Hello everyone, I'm glad you seemed to have enjoyed this photo. The odd thing is that when I took it there was a middle aged guy next to it also, looking pretty offended.
    He must have been a doctor or something as he knew the name of the surgeon - and frankly you need to be in "the trade" to know about him.
    He said something like "how dare they do such a thing". He probably didn't know it was a tradition. I did not either.

    A big kiss to everyone from the South of France where I am at the moment.

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  38. Elève infirmière, j'ai été étonnée de découvrir "Batman" dans les jardins de l'hôpital... merci de cette rétrospective et félicitations poru ce blog que je suis quotidiennement et, si mon anglais est assez bon pour que je comprenne les articles, il est bien trop mauvais pour que je puisse commenter dans la langue de Shakespeare !!!! Merci pour ce blog !

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  39. Those talented students have given the statue some very different looks! I really enjoyed that. I've been outside the Hotel Dieu so many times, but for some reason thought it wasn't OK to go in and be a tourist there - but we can go inside hospitals in this country, at least some distance inside; it's funny how I was thinking it would not be OK to be a tourist in a hospital. It looks really pretty. I hope I have a chance to come back!

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  40. I love the dress statue, it reminded me of my vacation in Paris and my living statues experience, we stayed in the Napoleon Hotel thanks to our Royal Holiday Club membership points, I have been back many times but I won't forget my first time in Paris.

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  41. Wow if only I had realized it's history I would have fully appreciated it in person. Is it common knowledge to Parisiens that their are budget friendly rooms to rent on the top floor of the Hotel de Dieu? Seriously. When I researched for our June '08 trip to Paris it wasn't the easiest thing to find out but it is even on US Trip Advisor website with reviews and interior pics of the rooms and the surprising views from those rooms. But we did not book because my French wasn't fluent enough (only a phone number to call and no site for online bookings) to get a room over the phone and I think the rooms are only for 1 to 2 people. And the photos also showed that there are nice interior gardens, too.

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  42. confirmation d'une externe de l'Hôtel-Dieu, c'est bien le Grand Schtroumph (il a même eu une barbe, à une époque)

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