History - Pirmasens
The first hospital in Pirmasens was built in the mid-18th century as a military hospital. This was the era in which, thanks to Landgrave Ludwig IX, the garrison town of Pirmasens was granted a town charter (1763). The civilian population was also permitted to go to the hospital for treatment. After the death of Ludwig IX in 1790, the hospital was disbanded and converted into a dwelling-house; this structure burned down to the foundation walls in 1850.
Throughout the revolutionary period, and for many years thereafter, Pirmasens was left without a hospital. Finally, in 1847, a small hospital of the town’s own was built; it steadily grew over the years, but ultimately it had only 26 sick beds.
By 1890, the population of Pirmasens had climbed to 21,000 as a result of the rapid development of the shoe industry. A new and significantly larger hospital was built on Lemberger Straße – just a stone’s throw from the current hospital. The facility opened in 1894 and was expanded between 1914 and 1960. The structure survived both world wars almost unscathed. Since 1991, that building has been run by Caritas as a retirement and nursing home.
Following a longer period of planning and consultations, the foundation stone for the modern-day Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens was laid in October 1981. The decision to build the new structure had been taken already in the late 1960s, however, when it became apparent that another expansion of the old hospital would only lead to an unsatisfactory result. When it was commissioned, on 16 January 1988, the newly erected building was presented as a modern hospital for advanced care. To this day, the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens has developed into an important diagnostic, therapeutic and nursing service centre in the Southwest Palatinate region – thanks not least to additional expansions undertaken in the interim.
History - Rodalben
Rodalben Hospital has a history that dates back more than a hundred years. The hospital in Rodalben opened in 1908. At the time, the new building, which was initially planned as a nurses’ residence, was turned over to the nuns of Mallersdorf. An institution for nursing had already been opened five years prior with the founding of the Elisabeth Association in Rodalben, but that institution was dedicated purely to outpatient care of the sick and injured; after 1907, several hospital rooms were set up to provide inpatient care and treatment as well.
Many wounded and sick soldiers were treated and cared for in Rodalben during the First World War. The first extension of the facility was inaugurated in 1927. Numerous extensions and conversions of the original structure would follow down through the decades. By 1938, there were already 80 beds available. During the Second World War, the hospital was seized early on as the main dressing station for the German Wehrmacht; this led to considerable restrictions in regular hospital operations. The situation returned to normal again in 1945, after the war’s end. The hospital’s great popularity throughout the region led to an increase in the number of beds – from 98 in 1946 to 125 in 1954, and then to 183 in 1961.
In 1966, the Elisabeth Association, the hospital’s sponsor up until then, transferred sponsorship to the St. Elisabeth Foundation of Rodalben, a public corporation. During the years that followed, some 500 nurses received training in the nursing school with the nurses’ residence located in the immediate vicinity of the hospital. An intensive care unit with a total of six beds was set up there for the first time in 1992, and in 1995 an orthopaedic department was added to the existing departments of internal medicine, surgery, gynaecology/obstetrics, ENT and ophthalmology. Marienhaus Kranken- und Pflegegesellschaft in Waldbreitbach took over the management of the hospital in Rodalben in 2004. In 2005, the new rescue station of the German Red Cross was inaugurated on Kirchbergstraße, directly adjacent to the hospital. The hospital has had a department of nephrology in place since 2007, with five dialysis stations, and a palliative care unit since 2016. The hospital merged with the Municipal Hospital of Pirmasens at the beginning of 2022.
By way of comparison: a look at the present