Henry Dunant and the Idea of the Red Cross

 

 

 

 

A memorial plaque on the façade of Palazzo Pastorio points out that Henry Dunant was a guest here in 1859. He arrived in Castiglione delle Stiviere on June 25, a day after the battle of Solferino, and was welcomed by Carolina and Luigia Pastorio. He remained in Castiglione only until June 30, but those few days changed his life. Starting from the morning of June 25, a huge number of seriously wounded soldiers were brought into the town, where there was a lack of everything, especially medications, bandages and medical assistance. Helped by the Pastorio sisters, who also translated for him, Dunant tried to give as much aid as possible. Watching the people of Castiglione helping all of the wounded, no matter whether they were French, Italian or Austrian, he had the idea of creating a corps of volunteers, ready to help any wounded of any nationality. Dunant dedicated the rest of his life to the creation of the Red Cross. The Pastorio sisters received from Napoleon III two silver medals, which still exist, as appreciation for the help given to the wounded French soldiers.

 

September 2010

Opening of the Henry Dunant Room

Honouring the 100th anniversary of the death of Henry Dunant on October 30, 1910, the historical room where Henry Dunant was given hospitality is open to the public. The exhibit shows original furniture and objects from the collection of the palace. Among other items, two important books owned by the Bondoni Pastorio family are displayed, containing autographed unpublished texts by Dunant.

The “Henry Dunant Room”, characterized by a ceiling decorated with pictures of the sky and architectural features is part of the Palazzo Bondoni Pastorio museum.

 

 

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