The Norwegian history of leprosy is part of the worldwide history of an illness that resulted in the exclusion and humiliation of millions of people. Between 1850 and 1900, Bergen was ‘The International Capital of Leprosy’, with three leprosy hospitals and the largest concentration of patients in the whole of Europe.
The museum has been the subject of increasing attention and has been nominated for several national and international awards.
The city’s oldest leprosy hospital, St. George’s Hospital, is now not only a monument to thousands of personal tragedies. It is also an important arena for the dissemination of Norwegian work and research on leprosy. In many parts of the world, leprosy is commonly known as ‘Hansen’s Disease’, named after the Norwegian physician Armauer Hansen who in 1873 discovered the leprosy bacillus in Bergen. The last patient at St. George’s Hospital died in 1946.
The leprosy archives in Bergen are part of UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.
Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews
Photos: Bergen City Museum
Source: Bergen City Museum, Wikipedia