Military buffs in particular always enjoy a tour of the Spanish Military Hospital Museum, but its charms are not limited to that demographic. People of all ages and interests always seem to find a good time here. This authentic reconstruction of the military hospital that once stood at this very spot offers a glimpse into what patients, doctors, and nurses would have experienced during the second Spanish Colonial Period, an era that lasted from 1784-1821. What seems raw, unsophisticated, and potentially dangerous to us today was not only the norm in 1791; the procedures, medications, and treatments were considered top notch at the time!
Each of the daily tours are fully guided and last for about 40 minutes, during which your guide presents a fascinating picture of the medical practices of the period. In the apothecary, you learn about the herbs that were grown for medical purposes, some of which are still used in medicines today. One “lucky” guest in each tour gets to volunteer to be the guinea pig for an 18th century revolutionary new surgery performed by one of the hospitals most skilled surgeons during the educational tours.
As you tour the hospital museum, you may be surprised at how many of the techniques used back then are still in use today; this is the time when physicians were discovering the importance of sterility and cleanliness, leading to an astonishingly high survival rate of their patients. Some of the more fascinating aspects of the tour involve the display cases featuring actual surgical tools used by physicians from the time period. Barbaric and scary looking, they will make you feel lucky at all the technological advances that have occurred in the medical world over the past couple of centuries!
Located at 3 Aviles Street in St. Augustine, the Spanish Military Hospital Museum is one of the stops on the Ripley’s Red Train Tours, so there is no need to rent a car to get there. Open every day of the year except for Christmas day, the museums hours and prices are listed on their website at www.spanishmilitaryhospitalmuseum.com, where coincidentally, you can get $2 dollars off per ticket just by pre-buying online!
The Ocean Gallery
Book your luxury Ocean Gallery vacation home today and experience all that is historical about our fair city. The Spanish Military Hospital Museum in St. Augustine is just one of the many incredible spots to visit; St. Augustine is the perfect vacation destination for people of all ages and interests. What are you waiting for? Check out some of the other great attractions below: