The changes in 19th century European hospital architecture. Selected examples
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In their long history, hospitals have undergone numerous transformations, both in terms of function and organization, as well as architecture and space. At first they served as shelters for pilgrims, the homeless and the ailing poor. It was not until the turn of the 18th century and 19th century that they began to be understood as organized public institutions devoted solely to the purpose of curing the sick. At the same time, first European clinics began to emerge, which combined the didactic function of universities of medicine with the medicinal function of an ordinary hospital. Until today, there have survived the majority of 19th century European hospital buildings. Many of them still boast a clear composition of spatial structure and valuable forms of architectural detail. Development in medicine, however, has brought about an evolution in health care and consequently functional and spatial programs of hospitals have also began to change. Today, many historical European hospitals experience substantial problems connected with the adaptation to new requirements in terms of equipment necessary in modern-day medicine. Is therefore the passing of historical hospital architecture unavoidable…?
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