Musee de l’Hospice Comtesse

32 rue de la Monnaie
Tel: 00 33 (0)3 28 36 84 00

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Open: Monday 2pm-6pm, Wednesday to Friday 10am-12.30
Closed: Tuesday and public holidays and Braderie weekend
Metro: Lion D’Or Gare Flanders
Buses: 3, 6, 9
Entry: 2 euros. Free for kids under 12. Free guided tours are available.

This 13th century hospital is now a museum, faithfully portraying life in Lille during 15-17th centuries

You have to look behind the old shop fronts of the oldest street in the city – rue de la Monnaie – to find the discretely located Musee de l’Hospice Comtresse.

It was founded in 1237, as a hospital and the hospice for the needy by Jeanne of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders as a charitable gesture. Now a museum, it depicts the development of builder’s arts from 15th to 17th centuries. You can visit the sick bay, the kitchen where there are hundreds of tiles, the chapel and the former nuns’ dormitory to view the Dutch and Flemish paintings. Also on show are wood carvings and tapestries by Guillaume Werniers, the famous Lille weaver. There’s also an ancient and very rare collection of musical instruments and popular music calle the Hel collection.

The museum gives off an agreeable air of spirituality and peace.