Healing in Geel
(Lisa Bradshaw) The Low Countries - 2009, № 17, pp. 86-92
In Geel, a town of about 35,000 souls in the south-east of Antwerp province, Sint-Dimpna reigns supreme. There is a Sint-Dimpna Hospital, a Sint-Dimpna College and a Sint-Dimpna Church, all located right next to Sint-Dimpnaplein. The local Gasthuis Museum has an entire room dedicated to this Saint. Known as Saint Dymphna in English, the patron saint of the mentally ill has so inspired the residents of Geel that they have built a tradition of caring for these vulnerable members of society on her story. Though many places in Europe can claim innovative facilities for the care and treatment of psychiatric patients, Geel is unique in the world – because it's been doing it since the Middle Ages.
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