In three previous trips to Burgundy we had not taken the time to visit the Hospices de Beaune, despite being in town each time. In May we corrected the error and were very pleased to learn the history and take in the beauty of this unique hospital for the poor established in the 15th century. It operated until 1955, including service to wounded soldiers during the world wars.
The narrative is quite frank that while the benefactor, Nicolas Rolin, was motivated both by compassion for the poor and the hope that doing a good deed would assure him of a place in heaven.
The distinctive roofs are a signature of this region, and similar colorful patterns are found on church steeples and estate roofs throughout the region.
The tiles were replaced in 2000, we learned, and while pretty and bright do not match the variety and subtlety of the originals.