From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The Bicêtre Hospital is a Parisian hospital famous for having had Marquis de Sade as an inmate. The Bicêtre is referenced in The Birth of the Asylum from Foucault's Madness and Civilization. In it, Philippe Pinel's methods are classified as more devious than humane.
It is located in Le Kremlin-Bicêtre, which is a commune in the southern suburbs of Paris, France. It is located 4.5 km. (2.8 miles) from the center of Paris. It is one of the most densely populated municipalities in Europe.
The Bicêtre Hospital was originally planned as a military hospital, with construction begun in 1634. With the help of Vincent de Paul, it was finally opened as an orphanage in 1642. It was incorporated into the Hôpital Général in 1656. In 1823, it was called the Hospice de la Vieillesse Hommes. In 1885, it was renamed the Hospice de Bicêtre. In its history it has been used successively and simultaneously as an orphanage, a prison, a lunatic asylum (see Psychiatric hospital) and a hospital. Its most notorious guest was .