The Monastery of Brou , Bourg-en-Bresse
In the early 16th century, the 24 year-old Marguerite of Austria, the Emperor Maximilienâ€™s daughter and Charles the Braveâ€™s granddaughter, lost her husband Philibert the Handsome. She decided to have the Brou monastery built just outside Bourg-en-Bresse, in which her husbandâ€™s, her motherâ€™s and her own tombs would stand.
She became the Netherlandsâ€™ regent in 1506 and moved to Malines to help her nephew Charles Quint. However she kept track of the construction works underway and sent the best architects and artists from France, Burgundy and Flanders there. The work was quite quickly completed in 25 years (1506-1532).
The church is a magnificent Flamboyant piece of art with a beautiful roofing in glazed tiles. The golden white stone inside is beautifully lighted by the outside daylight. The nave and the rood screen decorated with stone lacework contrast strongly. The most beautiful decorations are to be found in the choir and in Marguerite of Austriaâ€™s Chapel. The tombs, altar pieces and statues in the church are amazing pieces of 16th-century Flemish sculpture. The luxurious stained-glass windows are still in very good condition.
The unique monastery has three cloisters with high galleries and porticos. There are big cross-ribbed vaulted rooms on the ground floor, big cells upstairs and numerous functionnal rooms. All in all it is an area over 3000 square metres to house about 12 monks… Such a building had to be an emperorâ€™s daughterâ€™s!
The Museum of the Brou in the rooms and cells of the monastery owns great art collections from the 15th to the 20th centuries.
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Monastery of Brou
63 boulevard de Brou
SNCF: TVG Paris – Bourg-en-Bresse
From MÃ¢con: motorway A 40, exit nÂ° 7 and main road N 75 to Bourg-en-Bresse
From Lyons: motorway A42, exit nÂ° 7 and main road N 75 towards Bourg-en-Bresse
At the intersection of the MÃ¢con/Geneva and BesanÃ§on/Lyons roads
33 km east of MÃ¢con
Opening / Closing
1st July to 30th september : from 9 am to 6 pm.
1st October to 31st March from : 9am to 12.30 pm and from 2 to 5 pm
1st April to 30th June : from 9 am to 12.30 pm and from 2 to 6pm
on January 1, May 1, November 1, November 11and December 25