MUSME - Museum of the History of Medicine

Museum in Padova

MUSME Museum Of The History Of Medicine
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Alessandro Ruzzier

The Museum of the History of Medicine of Padua ( MUSME ) is a museum open to the public since 2015 and located inside the ancient Hospital of San Francesco , next to the church of San Francesco Grande in Padua . The museum, through its interactive tools and its collections, illustrates to the public of all ages and education the evolution of medical science over the centuries, with particular reference to the history of medicine in the University of Padua , one of the leading medical schools in the West.

History of MUSME – Museum of the History of Medicine

Padua, with its university among the first in the world, was one of the main centers in which the scientific revolution developed between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries , thanks to the illustrious presence of the astronomer Galileo Galilei and other innovators in other fields. The British historian and philosopher Herbert Butterfield wrote on the subject: “Assuming that the honor of having been the seat of the scientific revolution can rightfully belong to a single place, this honor should be recognized in Padua”, adding that ” in Padua the queen of science, rather than theology, as in Paris, was medicine. ”

If the Paduan medical school – thanks also to the protection offered by the Republic of Venice – contributed widely, between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, to the birth of modern medicine , this is due to contributions such as that of Giovanni Battista Monte who, first in Europa taught his pupils the medical clinic at the bedside of the sick; the foundation of the first university and public botanical garden in 1545; the introduction of the autopsy as a method of scientific investigation and the birth of the first stable anatomical theater at the end of the 16th century; to the anatomical discoveries of various scholars including Andrea Vesalio ,Gabriele Falloppio and Girolamo Fabrici d’Acquapendente . The Padua university remained a point of reference even in the following centuries for the training of some of the major European doctors.

The Museum of the History of Medicine in Padua occupies a section of what was once the Hospital of San Francesco Grande , the first and most important hospital in Padua for four centuries, founded in 1414 and in use until 1798. The structure was part of the 15th century complex of San Francesco Grande, separated from the convent of the Friars Minor by the church of San Francesco Grande .

The idea of ​​creating a new medical museum dates back to 2000. The complex, owned by the Province of Padua since 1959, was renovated in the 2000s, based on a project by the University of Padua, with the idea of ​​hosting a museum and, initially, a library; the building was renamed “Palazzo della Salute”. The works for the construction of the museum took place between 2014 and 2015, by the QBgroup company with the support of the Cariparo Foundation; a congress center was built in the right wing of the complex.

The museum belongs to the Foundation Museum of the History of Medicine and Health (MUSME), established in 2008 by the Province of Padua, the University of Padua, the Veneto Region , the Municipality of Padua, the hospital and ULSS 16. The MUSME Foundation (chaired from 2015 by Francesco Peghin ) entrusted the management of the structure in 2013, with a tender, to the company Palazzo della Salute srl and the museum was inaugurated on 5 June 2015 and opened to the public the next day.

In 2015 the eContent Award Italy was awarded to the museum for the best contents and services in digital format in the “eLearning & Science” section.

The MUSME - Museum of the History of Medicine appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Padova!

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Visiting MUSME - Museum of the History of Medicine


2.30-7pm Tue-Fri, 9.30am-7pm Sat & Sun


adult/reduced/child €10/8/6

Address: MUSME, Via San Francesco, Padua, Province of Padua, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes

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