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In French-speaking countries, a hôtel-Dieu ("hostel of God") was originally a hospital for the poor and needy, run by the Catholic Church. Nowadays these buildings or institutions have either kept their function as a hospital, the one in Paris being the oldest and most renowned, or have been converted into hotels, museums, or general purpose buildings (for instance housing a préfecture, the administrative head office of a French department).

Therefore, as a secondary meaning, the term hôtel-Dieu can also refer to the building itself, even if it no longer houses a hospital.

The hôtel-Dieu of Beaune, boasting a beautifully preserved courtyard

Examples include:


See also[edit]