Welcome to the School of Naval Medicine at Rochefort!
Are you looking for something new, a different kind of experience? Unusual scientific discoveries? Come with us to a museum that is NOT like the others! Here it’s an open book on medicine and science over the last 300 years. Welcome to the School of Naval Medicine at Rochefort!
A little history…
The School of Naval Medicine will be celebrating its 300th birthday in 2022. Make a note in your diaries! The anniversary will throw even more light on this amazing site that enabled research to advance by leaps and bounds. It was in fact on 5th February 1722 that the Marine Royale opened this school with the aim of training the surgeons on board warships – a world first!
In 1788, it moved to a building in the maritime hospital of Rochefort. Itself is particularly innovative for the time. It organized rather like a teaching hospital of today. The school enabled meteoric advances in medicine, surgery, pharmacy but also in the domains of ethnography and natural sciences.
Our exciting forthcoming programme includes anatomical and natural science collections, exhibitions and study days! See you soon J
But if you can’t wait until 2022, the School of Naval Medicine is home to a temporary exhibition of two contemporary artists, Anaïs Marion and Aurélien Bambagioni. Their works are integrated with the heart of the collections, dialoguing with the site, and thus enriching the experience of your visit.
Excellent guided visits!
To discover all its secrets, the School of Naval Medicine offers two guided visits.
The first (Essentielle) lasts 45 mins and takes in the library and the collections in a fun but educative manner. It’s perfect for families and the visit of the heart of the history of medicine may well inspire future vocations!
The second visit (Officier de santé) lasts 1h30 and takes in the whole of the museum with an immersion in the history of medicine and its evolution over the centuries. During this extended visit, the guides will show you some of the books from the library of 25,000 volumes on medicine, voyages and science.
Amongst other prestigious works there is an atlas tracing La Pérouse’s expedition to the Pacific and an original copy of Didérot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopaedia.
The library’s works can also be consulted in the presence of an expert from the documents collection; appointment necessary.
Come and meet Alexandra, one of the museum’s guides, both passionate and fascinating.
A native of Rochefort, an art historian and passionate about history, Alexandra’s guided visits place the School of Naval Medicine in the context of the town of Rochefort. Thanks to her interrelational skills, she forges a real exchange with visitors, sharing her knowledge and thus creating a dynamic, accessible guided visit.
Behind the scenes
A museum and a library that hold treasures open to the public … but it’s more than that.
The National Maritime museum team work year-round, keeping a careful eye on the collections, making studies, conceiving new offers and exhibitions – all the main tasks that a museum undertakes, that punctuate its life.
You may be interested in meeting these professionals at work in the museum – they will be delighted to share their day’s work with you.
How to book and how to get there
05 46 99 86 57
« Essentielle » visit
« Officier de santé » visit
Follow the museum’s programme on its Facebook page.
If you’d like to extend your visit to Rochefort
The town of Rochefort invites you to prolong your voyage with a whiff of adventure.
Explore the dockyard l’Arsenal des Mers, home to four unmissable sites that cover the history of the navy: the famous royal ropeworks (Corderie Royale), the frigate “Hermione”, the exceptional collections of the National Naval Museum not forgetting the adventure park “Accro-mâts”.
Don’t miss the reopening in 2023 of Pierre Loti’s house, already visitable in 3D at the Musée Hèbre St Clément.
And for a maritime breather in the heart of nature, follow the banks of the Charente, through the gardens of the Corderie Royale to the Pont Transbordeur (transporter bridge).