Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Wandering in Beaune

On our recent trip to France we took the opportunity to travel to a New to Me part of the country, with a couple of days in the lovely city of Beaune in Eastern France. Our weather on the way across was grey and miserable but, fortunately, our main day there was bright and sunny.

Our hotel, which was in a former wine-merchants house was only a few minutes walk from the Collegiale, Notre Dame de Baune so that was our first port of call on our day of discovery. The Basilica is best known for its collection of 15th Century tapestries but this was not open whilst we were there sadly. It is pretty impressive though isn't it?

The main focus of our morning though was the Hospices de Beaune, which as you can see is pretty amazing. The Hospices, which was established in 1442 by the then Chancellor to the Duke of Burgundy and his wife, was set up to provide nursing care for the poor and needy in the area. A role that it continues to provide to this day, although not now in this building.

The main part of the hospital has been restored to reflect its original medieval state. The box beds along each side were used by more than one patient at a time and could be closed to the main ward with the curtains for private examinations by the medical staff.

The original construction did not include a pharmacy, but one was added later in the hospital's history. The entire contents of a pharmicist's shop was purchased to stock the hospital pharmacy at one stage and these bottles are remnants of that purchase. Dragon blood and green tea are perhaps not the first combination of medicines that you would reach for in the case of illness! The Dragon blood is not quite as bad as it sounds as it relates to the root of the dragonfruit tree :)

The quilters amongst you will no doubt be as thrilled as I was with the gorgeous tiled roofs of the Hospice. Tiled roofs like these are apparently typical of Burgundy, but these must be the most amazing examples of the tilers art.

The Hospices is famous for the wine auctions held there every year, which is contributes to the funding of the care provided by the charity. The charity owns a vineyard as well, which is just so quintessentially French :)

Wine was the focus of our second port of call in Beaune (surprise, surprise!) which I will regale you with in a separate post.

Let me know in the comments if you have travelled somewhere new this month too!


  1. That roof is amazing! What an interesting bit of history you got to explore, Alas, no new to me traveling going on here :(

  2. What fantastic architecture! And very interesting to learn of the history. I'm glad you found a sunny day. They seem to be very few and far between at the moment :)


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