The Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin is the medical school for both the Humboldt University and the Free University of Berlin. After the merger with their fourth campus in 2003, the Charité is one of the largest university hospitals in Europe. Complying with an order of King Frederick I of Prussia from November 14, 1709, it was initially established in 1710 north of the Berlin city walls in anticipation of an outbreak of bubonic plague that already had depopulated East Prussia. After the plague spared the city it came to be used as a charity hospital for the poor. On January 9, 1727 Frederick William I of Prussia gave it the name Charité, meaning "charity". The construction of an anatomical theatre in 1713 marks the beginning of the medical school, then supervised by the collegium medico-chirurgicum of the Prussian Academy of Sciences. 1795 saw the establishment of the Pépinière school for the education of military surgeons.
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