A visit to an unforgettable place: The Hospices de Beaune
A hospital building of the Middle Ages, the Hospices de Beaune are part of French history. Classified as a historic monument since 1862, this exceptional monument is now a museum of history and of medicine. While you are visiting in Burgundy, the Hospices of Beaune should be key milestone of your trip.
The Hospices de Beaune: burgundian edifice from the middle ages
This ancient institution was founded in 1443, under the aegis of the chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy: Nicolas Rolin and his wife Guignone de Salins. It is located in Beaune, in the heart of Burgundy, in the department of Côte-d’Or. This ducal project was constructed as a hospital: the Hôtel Dieu.
Nine years later, in 1452, the hospital welcomed its first patients: sick people, orphans, the elderly. Its main room, called the “Pauper’s Room”, is where they were taken in. Today, during a visit to this room, you will find rows of beds against the walls. You only have to raise your eyes to admire the ceiling, richly decorated with paintings and sculptures. You can also see the other rooms, which were reserved for more serious illnesses or merely to keep the medicine. The kitchen of the hospices is also open to the public, left as it was in the time of the Middle Ages.
The building of the Hospices also has a Gothic chapel, decorated with works of the Flemish painter Rogier van der Weyden. In Beaune, you can also view the polyptyque of the Last Judgment, another work by van der Weyden.
The Hospices of Beaune are a true jewel of flamboyant Gothic architecture. Especially its courtyards, whose roofs are covered with tiles of red, brown, yellow and green, which create a stark contrast to the austerity of the facade of the buildings.
The exterior facade of the building in no way reflects the decoration and beauty of the interior.
Today, the building no longer shelters patients nor, of necessity, the elderly, but remains an unforgettable visit to make if you visit this region. A true historic museum, it welcomes thousands of visitors each year.
A famous vineyard of Burgundy
ts traditional Burgundian architecture is famous throughout the world, as is its vineyards. In 1457, a first gift of vines was made to the Hospices de Beaune. Since then, the hospices have received numerous other gifts. Today, the vineyard is made up of 60 hectares, of which 90% is dedicated to the production of Pinot Noir, while the rest produces Chardonnay. Eighty-five percent of the production of this vineyard is premier crus and grand crus.
Each year, an auction is organized in the same buildings as the hospices. Individuals can then acquire one or more bottles of this fabulous concoction. The funds received finance the operation of the hospices, the preservation of the building of the Hôtel Dieu, improvements to the hospital buildings of Beaune, as well as financing medical research and charity work. The values of the founder of these hospices are part of this process: to come to the aid of the most destitute.
The prices of the wines presented during the sale, among the premier crus and the grand crus can become staggering. Even ordinary visitors can buy the wines from among the premier crus and grand crus from the domain “Hospice de Beaune”. The hospices have a small store where these bottle are sold.
If you have never had the occasion to visit, but you want to buy wine, you can buy them remotely and have them delivered within three days, anywhere in France.
Rates and opening hours
The opening hours of the Hospices de Beaune
From January 1 to November 19, the site is open to the public from 9:00 a.m. To 6:30 p.m.
From November 20 to December 31, the hours change: 9:00 a.m./11:30 then 2:00 p.m./5:30 p.m.
Adult: €7.50 Children (from 10 to 18 years old) : €3
Free for children less than 10 years old