The Hospice Comtesse Museum is located in the heart of Old Lille and was formerly a hospital that operated from 1237 right up until 1939. Some of the buildings on-site date back to the 15th century. There’s the former hospital ward with a paneled barrel vault ceiling and a chapel decorated with the coats of arms of the hospital’s benefactors. The buildings – which also housed a community of Augustine nuns – are centered around two courtyards and a garden of plants with medicinal properties.
The museum is designed to recreate the feeling of a small Flemish convent – on the ground floor you can visit the kitchens and see Delft-inspired tiles in situ and see works of art and sculpture, while upstairs you can tour the nun’s dormitory, where exhibits show what daily life was like in Lille in times past. Learn more about the history of the city with a guided walking tour.
Things to know before you go
- Entry to the museum is free for Lille City Pass holders.
- The museum is partly wheelchair-accessible.
- English language guidebooks are available on-site.
How to get there
Lille is a northern city in France, located near the Belgian border. It’s well connected to London via the Eurostar train and Paris via the TGV fast train. The Hospice Comtesse Museum is located in the center of Old Lille (Vieux-Lille) on 32 Rue de la Monnaie. It’s within walking distance of other points in the city, including the main train station. A city shuttle (Navette Vieux Lille) operates a hop-on-hop-off service in the Old Town.
When to get there
The museum is open every day, except Tuesday. It’s not usually too crowded, but it can get busy on weekend afternoons.
A City of Students
Aside from being France’s 4th largest city, Lille is also one of the country’s best-known college towns, with over 100,000 students living in the city at any time. For visitors, this means, plenty of cultural attractions, from theater to cinema, and lively nightlife.
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- Lille Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille)
- Lille Old Town (Vieux Lille)
- Museum of the Gunners in Lille (Musée des Canonniers Sédentaires de Lille)
- Grand Place
- Birthplace of Charles de Gaulle (Maison Natale de Charles de Gaulle)
- Lille Town Hall and Belfry (Beffroi de l'Hôtel de Ville de Lille)
- Lille Natural History Museum (Musée d'Histoire Naturelle de Lille)
- Lille Museum of Fine Arts (Palais des Beaux Arts de Lille)
- Science Forum (Forum Departmental Des Sciences)
- Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art (LAM)
- Villa Cavrois
- Le Fresnoy National Studio for Contemporary Arts (Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains)
- La Piscine Museum (Musée d'Art et d’Industrie André Diligent)
- La Manufacture de Roubaix
- Maison Folie Hospice d'Havré