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Burghölzli is the common name given for the University of Zurich psychiatric hospital. The hospital is located on "Burghölzli", a wooded hill in the district of Riesbach of southeastern Zurich.

File:Klinik Burghölzli.jpg


The history of the hospital began in the early 1860s, when internist Wilhelm Griesinger (1817-1868) at the University of Zurich made plans for the creation of a modern psychiatric clinic for humane treatment of the mentally ill. Although Griesinger died before the building was established in 1870, he is considered the founder of Burghölzli. From 1870 until 1879, the hospital had three directors, Bernhard von Gudden (1824-1886), Gustav Huguenin (1840-1920) and Eduard Hitzig (1839-1907). All three men practiced medicine from a biological basis, with brain pathology and physiology being the general focus of their research.

Auguste-Henri Forel (1848-1931) was the fourth director of Burghölzli, and spent nearly twenty years at the helm. Under his leadership, the hospital began to gain recognition throughout the medical world. Forel was able to combine the "dynamic approach" of French psychiatry with the biological orientation of the German school of psychiatric thought. In 1898 Eugene Bleuler (1857-1939) became director of the Burghölzli, where he would remain until 1927. The "Bleuler era" is considered the most illustrious period at the hospital, largely due to the advent of psychoanalysis, usage of Freudian psychiatric theories, and the creative work of Bleuler's assistant, Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961). Bleuler was followed as director by Hans-Wolfgang Maier (1882-1945) and afterwards by his son Manfred Bleuler (1903-1994).

In addition to Jung, many renowned psychiatrists spent part of their career at the Burghölzli, including Karl Abraham (1877-1925), Ludwig Binswanger (1881-1966), Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922), Franz Riklin (1878-1938), Constantin von Monakow (1853-1930), Adolf Meyer (1866-1950), Abraham Brill (1874-1948) and Emil Oberholzer (1883-1958). Today the Burghölzli remains an important center for psychiatric research and the treatment of mental illness.


  • This article is based on a translation of an article from the French Wikipedia.

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