Perpetuating Jeanne Mance’s Work
On May 17, 1642, Jeanne Mance and Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve, founded Ville-Marie. Canada’s first secular nurse originally cared for the sick and injured in a dispensary, and then at the Hôtel-Dieu hospital built in 1645. Three Hospitallers arrived from La Flèche in 1659 to support her. Since 1992 the Museum has been introducing visitors to the origins of Montréal and the Hôtel-Dieu, the achievements of these pioneering women and the development of health care and medicine over the centuries.
As you enter the Museum you can admire a majestic 17th-century oak staircase, eight metres high. It originally graced the former Hôtel-Dieu hospital in La Flèche, France, where Jérôme Le Royer de la Dauversière established the Filles Hospitalières de Saint-Joseph, a nursing order, in 1636.
In the permanent exhibition you’ll find a unique collection of artifacts, including a paper written and signed by Jeanne Mance, the letters patent granted by King Louis XIV and an impressive array of medicinal and pharmaceutical items from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
Explore temporary exhibitions that reveal unusual aspects of this rich archival, religious, medical and artistic heritage.
Are you interested in history, architecture and horticulture? Then you will want to visit the convent garden, surrounded by an imposing stone wall, a true oasis of peace in the heart of the city. Take a guided tour and soak up the charms of fragrant flowers, grapevines and orchard.
Guided tours for groups are available upon reservation.
Reading and quilling
Would you like to know more about Montréal’s earliest days, its founders and the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal? The Museum’s gift shop has a variety of exclusive publications on these topics, as well as lovely greeting cards made with the “quilling” technique.