Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Roofs

You'll have to excuse my repetition here.



Just as in my last post you may have noticed that when I'm really taken with something I photograph it a lot.




We're about to spend some time in a fifteenth century hospital called Hôtel Dieu or the Hospices de Beaune, according to their website though, as you can see, the front door says hostel.




Hospital / hotel / hostel, they all meant much the same back in 1443, if you remember this post about a more local medieval hospital.




It's an enormous place built by a man named Nicolas Rolin (1376-1462) with his (third) wife Guigone de Salins (1403-1470).




I found it interesting that Rolin's first marriage was part of a triple ceremony:  his widowed mother married a man and her two sons married two of the groom's daughters.



This might be an unlucky practice as all three brides were dead within a few years.



Rolin's next marriage brought him more money and status and the second wife lived for at least another 14 years.



He had four children by his first two wives.







He made his third marriage, to Salins (27 years his junior) in 1421 and the following year became Chancellor to the Duke of Burgundy, known as Phillip the Good.






Salins' Wikipedia entry says that she encouraged her husband to do charitable acts, but when I was walking through the hospice I was thinking about Veblen's views about why the wealthy endow charities.  I wonder how famous either Rolins or Salins would be today but for this amazing structure.





Doing a bit of math I worked out that Rolin lived to the age of 86 but was only survived by his wife by eight years.



She died at the age of 67.






If I remember right, she fought to keep control of the hospice after Rolin's death but was ousted by his powerful sons, one of whom was Cardinal Jean Rolin.







Her own son, Antoine, merely served as Chamberlain to the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold (son of Phillip).  I think she ended her days in a convent.





5 comments:

Carolyn said...

Magnificent architecture. You really are visiting some wonderful places in the world.

Revanche said...

The patterns on that roof are amazing!

LR @ Magnificent or Egregious said...

Interesting building and history. That's a hostel?! Wow.

Suburban Princess said...

What a beautiful building!
I know the feeling - I was trying to figure out how to get to the roof of Stirling castle for a closer look!

Shelley said...

Carolyn - Yes it is, and yes we have. I feel very lucky.

Revanche - They make me want to do some sort of needlework!

LR - Yes, but I think the modern definition of hostel has changed quite a bit in c. 600 years. And you had to be pretty sick to get into this one...

SP - Yes, I was once inspired to buy a book just about Paris roof lines, and I don't even speak French!