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Beaune - The Heart of Burgundy | Cruising in France

Cruising in France

...Travel blog about river and canal cruise vacations on luxury barges and riverboats

 

Beaune - The Heart of Burgundy

Written by Carolyn on June 30, 2009
Summary:

Before (or after) your Burgundy cruise, why not stop by the beautiful city of Beaune, with its wonderful heritage and old-world atmosphere.

No visit to Burgundy is complete with a stop in Beaune, in the heart of the famous wine region. From the renowned Clos de Vougeot to the equally famous Montrachet vineyards, the Côte d’Or (”Golden Hillside”) is a must-see for any serious wine afficionado.

Clos de Vougeot Wine Burgundy Wine Barrels

Besides the vineyards, Beaune is famous for its Hôtel-Dieu (Hospices de Beaune), a hospital founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin. This building, with its beautiful multi-colored tile roof, is now a museum. The interior has been restored and gives a fascinating glimpse of how sick people were cared for, in one large room, with rows of curtained beds - each holding two patients! - along the sides. There is also a pharmacy, with old bottles labeled with the names of various herbs and other substances used as medicines. In the kitchen, with its massive fireplaces and cooking pots, you can see figures of nuns working to feed all the sick people.

Hospices de Beaune Hospices de Beaune Interior

The charitable institution now cares for the sick in modern hospitals, but its work continues to be supported by the proceeds from the sale of wine from its vineyards. Every November, a large charity wine auction is held in Beaune’s covered market. In 2008, 544 barrels were sold, 450 of red wine and 94 of white wine. 

If you have a few days before or after your Burgundy cruise, you may want to check into the gorgeous Hotel le Cep and tour some wineries, indulge in the local wine and cuisine, and just stroll around the quaint old town of Beaune.

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