Europe 2012 travel blog

Hotel Dieu (Hospice) 1

Hotel Dieu 2

Hotel Dieu 3

Arrived in Beaune late in the afternoon. This had been my one recommendation for the trip. Nicky and I had spent a few days here and were stunned by the tiling on the roofs particularly the 'Hotel of God'. (the words hospital or hospice hadn't been invented when the Duke of Burgundy set it up)is Frances best example. Note that photos are from our first trip, as the late afternoon shadows didnt show off the tiles in the same wasy as the suin earlier in the day,

It did not close as a hospice until 1984. It is now set up as it was several hundred years ago. Meanwhile the concept expanded and money is still raised annually through the sale of their wine;the Duke cleverly also set up a vineyard so that there would always be an income.

The money helps in the upkeep of the buildings and museum as well as supporting research in their other hospitals around France. We had taken a bit longer than expected to get to Beaune and had realised that the trip the next day was also longer than previously thought. So our visit was confined to an hour in the 'Hotel of God' a walk through the old city to find a place to eat.

We've been a a bit amazed by the fact that even traditional dishes are now served with chips! My Beef Burgundy would have been much nicer with the boiled potatoes that had come with our sardines in our little tabac/cafe near Versailles.

Although we didn't have time to do anything else should you visit Beaune, other than having the best examples of Burgundy tiles in Burgundy or elsewhere, another highlight for us was wine tasting. You're given a silver(?) tasting cup, and then set off through candle lit underground 'caverns', 16 tree stumps with a candle, one bottle of wine and a nearby spittoon are in place for you to swirl, taste and spit. You also have a sheet to write down what you think you can taste, or your general impression of the wine (needless to say Nicky's was more detailed than mine!! The last stop at the end, has a wine expert. You can then either pick the wine you liked best, or she gives you a different one, and you're allowed to drink the lot. No spittoon in sight! Nicky got into a discussion about the given wine, which resulted in the lady going off and getting another bottle. One that was obviously normally not wasted on 'plebs' like me!

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