What is a "bedlam", and why the English buy tickets to the madhouse

• What is "bedlam", and why the English buy tickets to the madhouse

Bethlehem Royal Hospital in London, known as "Bedlam", is one of the world's oldest medical institutions for treatment of mental illness. It receives patients from the XIV century. But fame brought to the hospital was not her advanced age, and scandalously sad story, after which the word "Bedlam" has become synonymous with chaos and disorder.

What is a

"Bedlam" was founded in 1247, during the reign of King Henry III of, an Italian bishop Dzhoffredo di Prefetti in "Saint Mary of the New Order" as a fraternity dorm. Basically, the institution was used to help raise money for charity through the Crusades. The building was located in the parish of St. Botolph in Bishopsgeyte for London wall. Today this place is Liverpool Street underground station in London.

What is a

The plan first Bethlem.

No one knows exactly when the institution was transformed into a psychiatric hospital, but in 1330 it already had a hospital, and in 1357 there appeared the first patients. The "Bedlam" at that time there were 12 wards for patients, housing for staff, kitchen and courtyard. The hospital remained in its original place in the next 400 years until 1675, when she moved to north London in Mursfild because the old building was too small and needed to be expanded.

The project of a new building for 150 people was designed by architect Robert Hooke. Before the gates of the hospital architect Kai Gabriel Cibber two statues were installed, which were called "Melancholy" and "raving madness". It is known that people with depression, dementia, schizophrenia, epilepsy, anxiety, and other mental health problems, are in this hospital terribly mistreated, and local doctors, who were called "the guardians", placed over them experiments.

What is a

"Melancholy" and "raving madness" by Kai Gabriel Cibber (1680).

At that time Bedlam shaking scandals. One prisoner died after his intestines burst, as unfortunate was confined in a tiny cubicle, where he had to sit hunched over the years. Others slept naked on the straw in the cold. And virtually all patients tortured "keepers" -sadisty.

For example, in the program of "treatment" hospitals were shackles, chains and cold baths. Patients often chained to the walls and starved. A regular diet of patients was extremely poor (cereal, bread, water), no question of vegetables or fruit is not even going.

What is a

A scene from Betlemske hospital. Cycle William Hogarth "Career Mota."

One of the most brutal treatment in "Bedlam" was "rotational therapy," as it was called "keepers". Patient seated in a chair suspended by ropes from the ceiling, and whirled to more than 100 revolutions per minute ... This went on for several hours. The result was usually vomiting and dizziness are extremely severe, but, paradoxically, sometimes comes improvement.

patients were also "treated" with the help of blood-letting and cans. The treatment was so terrible that the "Bedlam" took not all patients, but only those who were able to survive the abuse. And that is not all survive in the hospital. Modern studies have found mass graves in St. George's Fields (where the mental hospital in 1810 moved). They were buried only those who died in Bethlem.

What is a

Bethlehem Hospital in St. George's Fields, 1828.

In the XVII century, someone from the hospital management came up with the "brilliant" idea - why not earn some money on the unfortunate patients. Just 2 pence by anyone was allowed to come to the hospital to look at the insane patients. All this "was served with sauce" that people supposedly clearly see the consequences of a vicious life. Looking for fun in "Bedlam" pulled people from across the UK.

What is a

When the photo appeared, many masters of photography often in the hospital, creating a gallery of patients ...

What is a

Every year the hospital is visited by about 96,000 people, which of course insanely annoying patients. In 1930, the hospital moved to Beckenham and remains there to this day. Times when patients are "Bedlam" were subjected to horrifying brutality and experimentation is over, but a bad reputation in places remained for centuries.