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The Birth of Modern Medicine: Paris & Montpellier

Montpellier, Paris 6 nights Price from £3,892 per person
Departs: 10 Jun 2024
Departs: 10 Jun 2024

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From mummified écorché figures to bone-lined catacombs, during this tour you will discover the foundations of the modern science of medicine in two French cities: Paris, where the ‘Paris School’ of hygiene and hospital teaching flourished and Montpellier, home to the world’s oldest university medical faculty and its medicinal garden. Follow in the footsteps of scientists including Louis Pasteur who pioneered the first vaccines, Rene Laennec whose stethoscope is a symbol of medical professionals still today, and Marie Curie – the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. Accompanied by award-winning journalist and author, Linda Geddes, we will travel by train throughout, spending the first four nights in the French capital, followed by two nights in Montpellier.


Depart London St Pancras 09:31, arrive Paris Gare du Nord 12:47
Depart Paris Gare du Nord 17:13, arrive London St Pancras 18:30
Train times subject to change.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return Eurostar and TGV tickets in First Class
  • Six nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Three dinners at local restaurants
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities
  • Guest lectures from New Scientist contributor Linda Geddes
  • The services of the Kirker Tour Leader and local guide


  • Day 1 - Arrive in Paris & 1st Talk

    Travelling by Eurostar from London to Paris, we will be met at the Gare du Nord and transferred to our hotel for the first four nights, in the heart of the city’s Left Bank. New Scientist writer Linda Geddes will give the first of three talks about the tour ahead and how it relates to the birth of modern medicine, before dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Day 2 - Musée Curie & Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine

    This morning you will meet our expert local guide for a walking tour on the Left Bank, starting at the Musée Curie, a fascinating museum devoted to the history of radiation therapy. Continue to the Pantheon, the great mausoleum of the French great and good - including the lead-lined tomb of Marie Curie herself. After lunch you will visit the Musée d’Histoire de la Médecine, which houses an impressive collection of rare surgical instruments from the 18th century onwards including Rene Laennec’s first stethoscope.
  • Day 3 - Musée des Arts et Métiers & Musée des Moulages

    We visit the Musée des Arts et Métiers in the Marais district, a former monastery which was converted into an academic institution during the revolution. It now houses a fascinating museum dedicated to science and technology, including exhibits on energy, communication, light and Foucault’s original Pendulum. You will also see the Musée des Moulages in the Hôpital Saint Louis which is generally not open to the public. Here you will see a specialist hospital built for dealing with epidemics and skin disease, which has a spectacular courtyard and bone-lined catacombs.
  • Day 4 - Pasteur Institute and Museum & Musée Fragonard d’Alfort

    Visit the Pasteur Institute and Museum, named in honour of Louis Pasteur, before travelling to the astonishing Musée Fragonard d’Alfort. Founded in 1766 by the anatomist Honoré Fragonard, this museum is now part of the Veterinary School of Paris (one of the world’s oldest) and it has a unique collection, including a startling room of his original écorchés, mummified anatomical studies ranging from a dissection of a human arm used as a teaching tool, to the gruesomely theatrical Horseman of the Apocalypse.
  • Day 5 - Musée Fabre in Montpellier

    We board the TGV for the journey south to Montpellier, on the Mediterranean coast. After checking in to our hotel just off the grand Place de la Comedie we shall discover the wonderful Musée Fabre this morning, with its remarkable collection of Greek ceramics and from the 17th until the 19th century.
  • Day 6 - Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montpellier

    This morning we will visit the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Montpellier, the oldest continually-operating medical school in the world, and alma mater of François Rabelais and Nostradamus. Here we will see the wonderful library and the Conservatory of Anatomy where cases house jars, skulls and casts including a resin écorché model that stands in the centre of the room. The second floor of the conservatory houses the imposing collections of the Delmas-Orfila-Rouvière museum, consisting of écorchés and wax anatomical models from the last two centuries.
  • Day 7 - Return to London

    After breakfast we will take the train back to Paris, where we will be transferred back to Gare du Nord for the Eurostar to London.

Departure Dates and Prices

Our prices are per person, based on the shared occupancy of a twin/double room. Supplement for single occupancy as shown.

10 Jun 2024

Status Available

Price from£3892

Single Supp.£800

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