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Beaune

Listed under Historic Towns and Villages in Burgundy, France.

  • Photo of Beaune
  • Photo of Beaune
  • Photo of Beaune
  • Photo of Beaune
  • Photo of Beaune
Photo of Beaune
Photo by flickr user PhillipC
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Famous market town in the heart of Burgundy, which hosts "Les Trois Glorieuses" or three day wine fair in early November. Wine buyers and merchants come from all over the world to sample the vintage of the preceding year, as the wine is transferred from barrels to bottles. They make a judgement about the quality of the vintage and the price they will pay, sometimes for wine that they will not take deliverey of for several years.

The town is also famous for its glorious mosaic-tiled Hotel Dieu, one of Europe's earliest hospitals. In the middle ages it treated the sick who were too poor to afford doctors, and was in operation until the early 1970s. It's now a small but fascinating museum. There's a great market outside once a week in the central town square.

Beaune is a great stopover on the drive south, being close to two major autoroutes - a chance to pick up a box of Burgundy from one of the many wine merchants here (the vineyards are all around - and the vine covered hills surrounding the town are known as the Cote d'Or, or 'hills of gold') - as well as to have a fabulous lunch of Boeuf Bourguignon or snails in garlic, washed down with a Kir aperitif, all native to this gastronomic region.

Written by  James Dunford Wood.

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