chno logo haut de page It dates back to 1260, when King Louis IX of France built a hospice rue Saint Honoré to be able to care for the 300 poor blind people in Paris. At that time people counted in dozens or scores, therefore the name Quinze-Vingts (fifteen-twenty) (15 x 20 is 300). A chaplain was at the head of the small community in which these blind people lived. In 1780 Cardinal Louis de Rohan decided to transfer the institution rue de Charenton to the former barracks of the Queen’s Black Musketeers. In 1873 a dispensary was added to treat ocular diseases. There was also a clinic that gave free care to patients. This gave birth to the CHNO, as we know it today.

In the 20th Century modern life standards (hygiene, comfort, etc.) lead to the destruction of this infrastructure and to the birth of the present hospital centre. The CHNO as we know it today was finished in 1974. The only relics from the former era are the entrance porch to the Musketeer barracks and the chapel.

Today the CHNO is the biggest hospital structure in continental Europe dedicated to ocular pathologies. It brings together over 200 ophthalmologists who give over 150000 external consultations a year, carry out more than 13000 surgical operations and the biggest number of surgical acts on the retina.

With the opening, at the beginning of March 2008, of the Institut de la Vision, managed by Pr José-Alain Sahel, the CHNO and its partners (Inserm, UPMC) have contributed towards giving French research one of the biggest centres in the world devoted entirely to eye diseases. All major partners necessary for therapeutic innovation are concentrated on one site, from fundamental research to treatment given to the visually impaired patients.

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