Bicetre, a village of France, in the department of the Seine, near Sceaux, on the way from Fontainebleau to Paris, celebrated for its hospital; pop. (including inmates of the hospital) about 5,500. It derives its name from and occupies the site of a chateau built in 1290 by John, bishop of Winchester. A military hos-pital was founded here by Cardinal Richelieu in 1632. The inmates were afterward removed to the Invalides, and Bicetre became a hospital for the poor and an asylum for vagrants. Under Louis XVI. a part of it was set aside for the treatment of venereal diseases, the patients invariably receiving a flogging as the first step in the cure. During the massacres of September, 1792, the inmates defended themselves desperately against the terrorists, and a horrible slaughter ensued. The establishment now has departments for the following classes: 1, old servants of the hospital, able-bodied old men, and blind lads; 2, the sick generally; 3, old men not quite disabled, and men over 70 years of age; 4, blind old men, and those suffering under grave diseases; 5, incurable invalids, lunatics, idiots, and epileptics.
About one half of the inmates are paupers; the majority of the rest are lunatics; the whole number of inmates is from 3,000 to 4,000, including about 600 employees with their families. Women are not received, and children are taken only when they are insane or epileptic; of these there are about 100. The annual expenses exceed 1,300,000 francs. The buildings include a gymnasium, library, church, and school, and workshops in which those who are able to labor are employed in woollen spinning, glass polishing, etc. About 200 lunatics are occupied in agricultural labor on a farm near the hospital.