The Varnished-Tile Roofs of Beaune’s Hôtel-Dieu is the Symbol of Burgundy Abroad:
Unlike Chablis and Dijon, Beaune is not a town that bears the name of a famous wine or a Burgundian product. The varnished-tile roofs of the Hospices de Beaune is the most recognisable symbol of Burgundy abroad, but that Beaune is the Capital of Burgundy Wines is a distinction that is probably not as well known amongst non-French people.
Beaune and Wine
Situated in the heart of prestigious Burgundy vineyards, like Pommard, Corton-Charlemagne and La Romanée-Conti, Beaune has been very much involved in wine culture and trade since the Middle-Ages. It is for this reason that Beaune has been designated Capital of Burgundy Wines and it is also one of the key wine centres in France.
But Beaune is not about wine only. This ancient and historic fortified town is also a city of gastronomy, art and culture.
Beaune is a town that is easy to explore on foot. A good place to start is at the Beaune tourism office which is well stocked with maps and brochures for holidaying in the region.
Things to See in Beaune
As one wanders within its ramparts, this charming town reveals its historical mansions, medieval half-timbered houses, flowered squares and gardens. Beaune’s highlight monument is its Hôtel-Dieu, a masterpiece of Flemish architecture. This remarkable hospital site also holds the masterpiece Flemish painting: the polyptych of “The Last Judgement” by Roger Van der Weyden. Allow sufficient time at the Hospices de Beaune as there is plenty to see here.
The Musee du Vin (Wine Museum) is on Avenue de la Republique and the Collégiale Notre Dame is just a stone’s throw away. As you wonder around the town with its old houses and narrow streets, look at the many wine shopswhose black boards list names that are the who’s-who of the champagne world.
As the Capital of Burgundy Wines, one of the things to do in Beaune is to go on a wine tour. ‘Beaune, Saveurs de Vignes’ is just one of the many wine tours available. This annual 7 km stroll through the vineyards of Beaune lets participants learn about what makes wine so successful in Beaune. There are some 580 hectares of exceptional vineyards for those who are interested in wine.
Beaune also has a few prestigious music festivals such as the International Baroque Music Festival in July, the Burgundy Jazz and Wine Festival in September and the Beaune Blues Boogie Festival just before Christmas.
There is a range of interesting hotels in Beaune, including the Hôtel De La Poste – a 19th century post house, L’Hôtel – a charming 19th century mansion and the Château de Challenges – 19th century country house. For the complete list of Beaune hotels, see HERE.