The Hôtel-Dieu of the
Hospices de Beaune was used as a hospital until the 1960s, when
medical activities were transferred to a new building. The Hôtel
Dieu is now a museum that shows how the Hospices cared for the sick and indigent
from 1443 through the 19th Century.
The Hospices de Beaune were built
by Nicolas Rolin, the Duke of Burgundy's chancellor, who hoped to earn a place
in heaven through good works. With his wife, Guigone de Salins, Rolin devoted
much of his fortune to caring for the 75% of Beaune's population who were poor
and starving after the Hundred Years' War. After more than 550 years, the
charitable organization is still supported by income from the vineyards that
were left as an endowmnt by the Rolins, along with profits from annual wine
auctions that have taken place since 1859.