In the 12th century the St. Jan hospital was founded in Bruges. At that time only a prosperous city with a lot of human attitude and compassion could afford an institution like this one. A place where all people, rich and poor could get medical proper care.
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The hospital is one of the oldest ones in Europe that still has its original setting. Today it is a museum that holds some very interesting items. Het whole hospital care system has been rebuilt to offer the visitors a look around how hospitals worked in the Middle Ages and the ages that followed. There is some authentic furniture, some tool, and an 18-century pharmacy. Also, a complete infirmary has been rebuild.
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In the museum, you can also find some truly amazing art. The German painter Hans Memling made 6 masterpieces, especially for the hospital. The painter emigrated to Bruges in 1465 and stayed there all his life. He mostly painted for the rich and that made him a very rich man himself. His most popular work you can find in the museum is the Ursula shrine. This artwork and many others can be seen in the museum, this makes it not only a hospital museum but also the Hans Memling Museum.