The royal monastery of Brou

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The royal monastery of Brou|The royal monastery of Brou|Tomb of Philibert of Savoy before the tomb of Marguerite of Austria|Photo NeogeoThe rood screen of the royal monastery of Brou|A sculpted decoration that looks like a real lace stone|Photo Motozone69The royal monastery of Brou|

The favorite of the French monument

The royal monastery of Brou is a masterpiece of Flemish flamboyant Gothic art from the beginning of the 16th century. It consists of a set of monastic buildings built between 1506 and 1512 and its sumptuous Church. The royal monastery of Brou was elected the "monument favorite of the French" by viewers of television France 2 in 2014, it beat including the castles of Versailles, Chambord and Mont Saint-Michel.

Brief summary of history

This rare architectural ensemble was built at great expense by the very powerful Marguerite of Austria. She was both the Duchess of Savoy, governess of the Burgundian Netherlands and also the aunt of Charles Quint. She built the royal monastery of Brou in memory of her husband Philibert II the handsome Duke of Savoy, who died prematurely at the age of 24.

A unique design in France, it has three cloisters on floor. Construction began in 1506. Returned to Belgium for the Regency in the expectation of the majority of his nephew Charles Quint, Marguerite of Austria appealed to renowned artists in Northern Europe. She send to Mechelen samples and models. Marguerite of Austria had planned to complete her widowhood, but she died too soon. The construction was completed in 1532, two years after his death. She is buried in the monastery with her husband and her mother-in-law.

The royal monastery of Brou

Topped with a roof of polychrome glazed tiles, his Church is a real princely mausoleum. It contains in its choir the tombs of Il Philibert of Savoy, Marguerite of Austria, and Marguerite de Bourbon. A splendid set, to finely sculpted detail, directed by the best regional and times Flemish artists.

The place is magical and the tour is worth a visit. The Church is a masterpiece of style flamboyant Gothic, the carved decor resembles a real stone lace. Its high roof of glazed and colored tiles, its sumptuous stained glass feature, its rood screen adorned with lace, of stone, its Chapel, its tombs, its altarpieces, statues and other decorative splendour make an exceptional Museum of Flemish 16th-century sculpture.

Near the choir, the chapel of Marguerite of Austria is just as remarkable, with its stained-glass window of the assumption and its altarpiece in marble white of the seven joys of the Virgin. Such a lace of stone, it is embellished with seven niches which represent respectively the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Adoration of the Kings, the appearance of Christ to the Virgin, Pentecost and the assumption.

Admire also the ancient stained glass of the choir made by Lyon glass masters, as well as wooden stalls and the rood screen of stone, two beautifully carved sets, whose beauty leaves contemplative. The discovery of places continues with the visit of the three cloisters of the monastery.

The Museum of Bourg en Bresse

The municipal Museum of Bresse is housed in one of the wings of the second of the three cloisters of the royal monastery of Brou. It presents a rich collection of paintings, including Flemish and French, from the XVth century up to modern art. The other highlight of the Museum is a collection of ancient religious sculpture (XIIth to XVIIth centuries) that is exposed in the refectory. The Museum also has furniture and a collection of earthenware Meillonnas.

Princess Margaret of Austria

Margaret of Austria (1480-1530) is a Princess that fate has not spared. Granddaughter of Charles the bold and daughter of Emperor Maximilian of Austria, she was three years old when she married the Dauphin of France, the future Charles VIII. Then she is divorced at the age of 11 in favour of Anne of Brittany.

At the age of 17, she moved to the Spain to become the wife of Don Juan of Castile, he died after six months of living together. Two years later, it is Philibert the handsome to be chosen among the many new claimants and the couple will live a few years of great happiness. Unfortunately, Philibert died at the age of 24, due to a cold contracted during a hunt.

Princess Margaret of Austria is inconsolable, she embarked on a painful mourning. The idea of the construction of Brou then makes its way: it will be the symbol of his deceased love and promise to find him in an eternal life. It took 26 years to build this magnificent masterpiece, which is exceptional at this time.

Useful information :

Address :
63 boulevard de Brou,01000 Bourg en Bresse
Tel :
33 (0) 4 74 22 83 83

Prices :
Full price €7.50 reduced price €4.50

Opening hours :
Open daily April 1 to June 30: 9 am - 12.30 and 2 pm - 6 pm
1 July to September 16: 9 am - 6 pm
17-September 30: 9 am - 12.30 and 2 pm to 6 pm
1 October to 31 March: 9 am to 12 noon and 2 pm to 5 pm

Closed: 1 January, 1 May, 1 November, 11 November and 25 December

Free of charge. Guided tour.

Where to stay:

All accommodation