During four months after WWI, Beaune was home to an American university. The university, known as A.E.F University (A.E.F = American Expeditionary Forces) was in operation from February to June 1919 and had 9,500 students (a commemorative plaque states 6,000+) and over 600 professors. The university was on the site of a former military hospital that had been built in just four months, January to April 1918 and in use until the end of the war, November 1918. Once the war was over the hospital was turned into a university. Three camp buildings are still standing on Rue du Docteur Tassin near a commemorative plaque.
The American university site is now a mix of business (including antique dealers), homes and fields. It's northeast of the center of Beaune and is boxed in to the north by the A6 Autoroute and the east the A31 Autoroute. On some maps the neighborhood where the American university was located is still called Le Camp Américaine. Train tracks possibly built for military hospital are visible and some streets have historical names like rue de l'Université Américaine, Impasse du Camp Impasse des Américains and the local bus stop (line 23) is named Camp Américain.
To get to the once camp from the A6 Autoroute coming south, use exit 24.1 (Beaune-Centre et Hospices). Follow signs for Dole (you should also see sings for Gigny and Zone industrielle Beaune-Vignoles). You'll then come to a roundabout where you can only turn right. So right and then at the next roundabout take the third right. This is Rue de Vignolles/rue de l'Université Américaine.
When on the A6 Autoroute coming from the north use exit 24 (Beaune-Saint Nicolas). Then follow signs for Beaune and drive over the A6 Autoroute. At the first light turn left, direction Gigny and then an immediate right onto Rue Pasteur. On Rue Pasteur at the first roundabout take the second right. At the next roundabout take the second right onto Rue de Vignolles. Rue de Vignolles then becomes rue de l'Université Américaine.
From the center of Beaune using the ring road that encircles the town take Rue Colbert and then at the roundabout use the first right onto Rue de Vignolles that becomes rue de l'Université Américaine.
The commemorative plaque is the on the corner of Rue de Vignolles/rue de l'Université Américaine and Rue du Docteur Tassin.
Short video about the university.
Le Camp Américain
THE LESSON OF BEAUNE UNIVERSITY.
Beaune Site For New American University
American University & Camp:
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