The Ancient City of Beaune

May 20, 2010

The drive to Beaune is through field after field of grape vines, along with this beautiful arbor of trees. Suzanne took the photo, as rule number 2 is, Maxine can NEVER take photos while driving.

In Beaune about half the battlements, ramparts, and moat still remain from the pre-Roman, Roman, medieval and renaissance periods. Beaune is also one of the main wine centers in France. The annual wine auction of the Hospices of Beaune is the primary wine auction in France*.

As you can see we had threatening weather and low temperatures in the 50’s. The hotel in the photo below dates to 1443.

Because it is Monday most of the shops were closed, which may have saved us as there were some very nice window displays. Beaune is full of antique shops and we passed several rare book shops.

Of course we had to visit the church. It had some beautiful stained glass windows.

Right next door to the church was a familiar name over a wine tasting shop.

We stopped for lunch at about 1:30 pm and had a lovely fixed price, three course lunch. This will be our main meal of the day. It started with a bowl of purée of vegetable soup, fish and chips and a berry tart for dessert. We also had a glass of delicious Rose Brut champagne. We just haven’t been doing justice to the wine here, so thought we’d indulge at lunch.

Notice the scooped shape of the French fries, it makes it so much easier to hold sauce and the fries seemed crisper. We may be back for more!

We walked through a little park, with carousel and sculpture.

Beaune is has a very charming and quaint historic center with lots of flowers and convoluted streets with lovely old buildings.

The streets were so convoluted that we couldn’t remember how to get to the car park. We stopped in a tourist center because we thought looking at one of their maps might help, but we ended up using my App. We remembered the name of a spot near the parking lot and finally made our way there.

While we were in the tourist center we saw this old grape press and watched a large format video about the wine growing region of Burgundy in the Côte d’Or.

On our drive home we stopped to take a closer look at the vines and Suzanne took a photo. They are just leafing out and it was interesting to see how old the plant looked and how severely they were pruned back. See featured photo.

Au revoir, until tomorrow.

* Wikipedia for Beaune History.

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