The "Ecole de Médecine Navale de Rochefort", was the first naval school of medecine in the world and it was founded in 1722 to train surgeons for duty on warships. The school moved to a pavilion at the new maritime hospital, the most modern in the country at the time, in 1788. In the 19th century, Rochefort-trained doctors were important participants in great expiditions and were very important in noting scientific descriptions of the natural phenomena they saw. Anatomical and natural history collections, as well as a library cover three levels of the museum.
The school looks just the way it did in the late 19th century : the objects, books, and decor are exactly the same as when the establishment was frequented by scientists and doctors some over 150 years ago. This powerful, moving place, with a strong sense of history, combines science and technology, as well as political and social history.