Home to masterpieces by Hans Memling (1440-94) and other painters from his time, the museum occupies the restored 12th century St...
Next to the Museum St Janshospitaal is a restored 17th-century Apotheek, which originally belonged to the hospital. You're free to...
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Lonely Planet review
In the restored chapel of a 12th-century hospital building with superb timber beamwork, this museum shows various tortuous-looking medical implements, hospital sedan chairs and a gruesome 1679 painting of an anatomy class. But it is much better known for six masterpieces by 15th-century artist Hans Memling, including the enchanting reliquary of St-Ursula. This gilded oak reliquary looks like a mini Gothic cathedral, painted with scenes from the life of St Ursula, including highly realistic Cologne cityscapes. The devout Ursula was a Breton princess betrothed to a pagan prince. She agreed to marry him on the condition she could make a pilgrimage to Rome (via Cologne) with 11,000 virgins, but all were murdered on the return journey by the king of the Huns, along with Ursula and her betrothed. The largest of the Memlings on display is the triptych of St John the Baptist and St John the Evangelist, commissioned by the hospital church as its altarpiece. Look out for St Catherine (with spinning wheel) and St Barbara, both seated at the feet of the Virgin. The artist's secular portrayals are just as engrossing as the devotional work, and include the delicate Portrait of a Young Woman (1480), in which the subject's hands rest on the painted frame of her portrait.
Your ticket also allows visits to the hospital’s restored 17th-century apotheek (pharmacy), accessed by an easily missed rear door.