Pre 19th Century Mental Healthcare Architcture

Pre 19th Century Mental Healthcare Architecture

Inspired by fact that the Koran decreed the necessity of providing humane treatment for the insane, the first specialist institutions for the care of the mad appeared in Islamic regions. These hospitals, called maristas, were well regarded with European travellers reporting back Pre-19th Century  Patient "History of Madness"on their wonder at the care and kindness shown to lunatics. The first such documented hospital for the insane was built in Cairo by Ahmad ibn Tulun in 872. However these examples found in the Islamic world were few and far between, they provided services for a fraction of the general population.
In Europe during the medieval era a variety of settings were employed to house the small subsection of the population of the mad who were housed in a institutional setting. Some examples of such locales where some of the insane were cared for such as in monasteries and a few towns had towers where madmen were kept (called Narrentürme or fools' tower) The ancient Parisian hospital Hotel Dieu also had a small amount of cells set aside for lunatics, whilst the town of Elbing boasted a madhouse Tollhaus attached to the Teutonic Knight's hospital. However, the first hospital in Europe dedicated to the care of the insane was founded under the aegis of Islam in Spain in Granada in 1365. Other such institutions for the insane were established after the Christian Reconquest of Moorish Spain, including hospitals in Valencia (1407), Zaragoza (1425), Seville (1436), Barcelona (1481) and Toledo (1483). The Priory of St. Mary of Bethlehem, which would become later become known more notoriously as Bedlam, was founded in 1247. At the start of the fifteenth century it housed just six insane men.

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