centralasian (centralasian) wrote,

[PER] Anatomical Theater

"In the upheaval of Renaissance the autopsy taboo began to  fade, and the rising number of public sections in Italian, French and Dutch university towns in the 16th century required a special type of building. The first anatomic theater was built in Padua in 1595, inspired by a concept of Roman amphitheater. Its architecture became a model for many other cities thereafter. The section table, which could be seen well from all seats, stood in the center of a circular stage. The rows of seats were mounted in a terraced way around it. There were educational sections for small groups of physicians, and more and more glamorous sections, which took several days, and were open to the urban society: the viscera were shown the first day, thorax organs on the second, the contents of the brain on the third, and the limbs with muscles, veins, nerves, bones, and the spine on the forth day. Among the paying audiences were the elites of the city, and everybody who was curious or interested in learning. Sometimes whole families participated in the event. People even traveled all the way from London, to see an autopsy in Leiden or Amsterdam. If the corpse were female, or the genitals could be seen, the entrance fee doubled." 

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