Multicoloured roofs are an integral part of Burgundy. In Pays Beaunois, those of the Hôtel Dieu in Beaune, Château de Santenay or Château de Corton André, for example, are particularly noteworthy.
A symbol of prestige
Roofs made of glazed flat tiles draw colourful patterns characteristic of the traditional architecture of Burgundy.
Polychrome roofs are status symbols, whose opulence reflects that of the owner of the building.
With their luminous beauty, they initially covered the great cathedrals of the 13th century, then the princely residences of the 14th century, before becoming available to the rich urban bourgeoisie of the 15th century.
In the Middle Ages and under the Ancien Régime, the tile factories producing these materials were mainly in a triangle formed by Dijon, Nuits-Saint-Georges and St Jean de Losne. They were replaced from 1860 to 1940 by the industrial sites of Saône et Loire (Montchanin, Ecuisse, Chalon sur Saône). Today, the tile factory at Chagny, still operating, bears contemporary witness to this legacy.
Did you know?
You can see glazed roofs in many parts of the world.
In Asia, North Africa and Europe, the same desire to combine aesthetics and better protection caused castles and palaces, cathedrals, temples and mosques to be covered with similar types of tiles.
The Forbidden City in Beijing, the churches of Budapest, Vienna, Basel or Zaragoza, the grand mosque of Fez and temples in Thailand share the same creative flourish as the Hôtel Dieu in Beaune, the Cathedral of Saint Bénigne in Dijon, or the Synodal palace in Sens.