Vue Aérienne Monastère Royal De Brou Bourg En BresseVue Aérienne Monastère Royal De Brou, l’incontournable de Bourg-en-Bresse
©Vue Aérienne Monastère Royal De Brou, l’incontournable de Bourg-en-Bresse|Massimo Ripani

Royal Monastery of Brou

masterpiece of Gothic art

The church of Brou is a fascinating place, a mausoleum of love, the Taj Mahal of Bresse, with beautiful, elegant architecture and a captivating history.  It is the very masterpiece of an emperor’s daughter, a great princess of 16th century Europe.

An entirely different tune

It’s impossible to overlook our treasure, the aptly named Royal Monastery of Brou. It was named the favourite monument of the French people in 2014, for the very first edition (we will always be the first!), and it is rather intimately connected to Margaret of Austria.

Let the exceptional history of this monument in Bourg-en-Bressewhisk you away. This masterpiece in a flamboyant Gothic style was built as a tribute to love at the dawn of the Renaissance era.

 Find out more about Margaret of Austria

The story of a princess unlike any other

Margaret was only 17 years old when she lost her second husband. It wasn’t too late to remarry. So, in 1501, Margaret married Philibert the Handsome, Duke of Savoy.

Thanks to this new marriage, she discovered the Dombes, Bourg-en-Bresse and the Château de Pont-d’Ain, where she lived with her husband.

But just three years later, Philibert also passed away. Before he died, he asked her to make a promise to respect an oath pledged by his mother, Margaret of Bourbon. The latter had in fact promised to have a monastery built in Brou

Experience their passion first-hand

A five-star monument

The Flemish-style construction began in 1506. At first glance, it’s the Burgundy-style glazed roof tiles that are particularly impressive. Inside, a flamboyant gothic masterpiece awaits you. You’ll be taken aback by the elegance and breath-taking decoration. The rood screen is decorated with stone lace work featuring the overlapping letters P and M, for Philibert and Margaret, and it separates the nave from the choir beautifully.

Bow before such beauty

Once you’ve admired the stalls, make sure you don’t overlook the portrayal of spanking (look to your right!). Finally, you will come to three tombs. To the south is Margaret of Bourbon’s, decorated with little hearts and her coat-of-arms, and then the monumental vaults of our destination’s most famous couple: Margaret of Austria to the north and Philibert the Good in the middle. The prince is shown wearing full armour, and surrounded by ‘putti’ (naked winged angels). The princess’ vault features a canopy bed. Here’s a fun fact to get out to impress your friends when you next come here: the bodies are actually buried underneath the choir, in the same sealed vault.

A visit not to be missed

For the next part of the visit, we invite you up to the rood screen gallery, to get a remarkable view from up above, of the tombs, nave and stained-glass windows. There’s a passage that will lead you to Margaret’s apartments, the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts and the three cloisters. We could write pages and pages about the beautiful yet tragic history of this monument. What better than a visit in person to experience its charm for yourself.

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Exploring the monument

Bande Annonce Monastère royal de Brou
Bande Annonce Monastère royal de Brou
Bande Annonce Monastère royal de Brou
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