Also known as Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune to locals, the Beaune Hospices used to be an almshouse in the 15th century and was used as a hospital for the poor people of the region recovering from the Hundred Years’ War. It was actually used as a fully functioning hospital until the late 1970s; it now houses a museum and a major charity wine auction every November.
The building itself is now regarded as one of the finest architectural gems in France; it was designed by the Flemish architect Jacques Wiscrère, which explains the striking resemblances to architecture typically found in the Flanders region of Belgium. The hospices’ façade is an exceptional example of Northern Renaissance architecture and features an abundance of panel painting, long half-timber galleries and, of course, the signature gabled roof and its multi-colored and geometric tiles. There are also plenty of ironworks, carvings, and tapestries inside the hospices’ walls.
Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is located in Beaune, about 45 minutes southwest of Dijon in Burgundy. It can be easily reached by car via routes A31 and D974, as well as by train via Beaune train station and a short walk. Entry costs €7.50 per adult and €3 per visitor aged 10 to 18 years old. It is free for children under the age of 10. The museum is open from 9am to 6:30pm in the summertime (3/19 to 11/15), and between 9am to 11:30am, and from 2pm to 5:30pm in the wintertime (11/16 to 3/18).