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Rouen | In the Footsteps of De La Salle | The Brothers of the Christian Schools

Hospice General

Adrian Nyel was the administrator of this house for the poor when Mme Maillefer sent him to Reims in 1679 to establish a school for poor boys. The Brothers eventually lived and worked here for some years when they first came to Rouen, before moving out to their own home and running several schools for the poor in the town.

About this Location

Hospice General

This engraving by Cabarteux shows the house at Rouen called "The Rampart" belonging to the general hospital. The Founder promised in 1707 to provide ten Brothers to staff four schools for the poor of Rouen. Tradition has it that one of these schools was housed in this building.

It was from this hospital that Nyel was sent to Reims in 1679 by Mme Maillefer.

Nyel's purpose was with the assent of the Rouen Education "Board" (or "Office of the Poor") with various letters of introduction, including to De La Salle (her cousin) in terms of establishing education for boys in Reims. 

Adrian NyelAt this particular time, Nyel was the leader and founder of a loose-knit community of poor laymen who were teachers, infirmarians, and sacristans. These men called themselves "Brothers" but were not bound by vows.

When the Brothers were to be invited to Rouen in 1705 they were to live in this hospital, teach the children here, and serve meals before travelling the 4 km (approximately 2.5 miles) to Darnetal and the other schools in Rouen. 

Located on Boulevard Gambetta, only part of the eastern wing now remains. Nyel and his schoolmasters lodged in the former west wing.