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.
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unpublished texts by Dunant.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.
The Palazzo Pastorio The Bondoni and Pastorio Families
The Abbots of Castiglione Henry Dunant and the Red Cross General Tellera
Board of Trustees Friends Address