The Hospices de Beaune or HÌ«tel-Dieu de Beaune is a former charitable almshouse in France. It was founded in 1443 by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, as a hospital for the poor. The original hospital building, the HÌ«tel-Dieu, one of the finest examples of French 15th century architecture, is now a museum. Alms are, in the Christian tradition, money or services donated to support the poor and indigent. Almshouses were established from the 10th century in Britain, to provide a place of residence for poor, old and distressed people. The first recorded almshouse was founded in York by King Athelstan; the oldest still in existence is the Hospital of St. Cross in Winchester, dating to about 1132. In the Middle Ages, the majority of European hospitals functioned as almshouses. No photographer credited, undated.