The Benedictine abbey of Ambronay is always talked about. Since Charlemagne, it has been present in the local landscape but not only…
Today, it gives pride of place to music and artists thanks to the Cultural Meeting Centre.

History of Ambronay Abbey

Ambronay Abbey, the name sounds like royal. No wonder, since it was founded at the time of Charlemagne, in 797. As a beautiful independent, by papal privilege, she enjoyed total sovereignty, answerable only to the Vatican.

This is a Lady with character!

Besieged at Middle ages, deprived of certain pieces at the Revolution, but she knows how to defend herself. Its two towers, the Tour des Archives and the Tour Dauphine, originally fortified prove it. Solidly built, theAmbronay Abbey remains free until the XNUMXth century and the protectorate of the Duchy of Savoy. Strong and adaptable, she knows how to change functions when the times demand it. After the end of monastic life, it is in turn: prison, barn, hospice, school, garrison building, social housing… Nothing can shake it.

After its classification as a historic monument in 1889, it once again became the church we know today and began its restoration. Its notoriety is written in the 20th century with the creation of a ancient music festival which revealed another advantage of this great lady: its acoustics!

Aussi robust either she, Dame Ambronay is none the less stylish. The abbey and the cloister on two levels form a majestic gothic set where there is an atmosphere of calm. The setting is soothing with its green surroundings and visiting the walls is a journey of the senses...

A visit of the senses at Ambronay Abbey


Attenuated, almost invisible in the heart of the abbey, it emerges between the arches of the pointed windows surrounding the cloister. The arabesques of flamboyant gothic measured arcades catches the sun and sends it softly to ricochet on the paving. From upstairs,shadow of the colonnades, everyone watches for the rays of the end of the day or the clouds that pass over the bell tower.

cloître de l'abbaye d'Ambronay dans le soleil

When at the night come, light up the glimmers games of colored lights, fenestrations and colonnades, lawns and frameworks are then discovered under a other day.

cloître de l'abbaye d'Ambronay de nuit durant le festival
cloître de l'abbaye d'Ambronay pendant le festival organisé en septembre octobre par le CCR


In the belly of the imposing church, nothing filters from the outside...

l'abbaye d'ambronay, près de Pérouges (Ain) accueille le festival de musiques anciennes

Le quiet echo the sounds of visitors on the wall is all that reaches us when we walk slowly under the ribs of the ribbed vault.

Parvis de L'Abbaye Bénédictine du village d'Ambronay

The massively silhouetted batteries echo the whispers, frotti rubbed discrete feet on the tiles, uncontrolled coughing.

Tour des Archives - fake photo

The beauty of cut stones is revealed in the tones moved or amazed by visitors.

When does thefall, the carcass of Dame Ambronay then resounds with a completely different harmony. The old stones shake, the building vibrates to the sounds and rhythms of masterful compositions of Baroque music.

Durant the Ambronay Festival, the voices of the visitors rise high under the vault. The cries of joy from the children, in the park where wooden games are spread out, come through the open doors. The music dots the places of a another silence, that of listening.

L'abbatiale durant le Festival musical d'Ambronay, à 20 min de Pérouges


When reigns the summer heat, freshness follows the blissful visitor. Along the nave, under the arcades of the cloister, in the intimidating Chapter room... companion of silence, it helps to calm down and promotes discovery in all quietude.

l'abbaye d'Ambronay (ain) près de Pérouges , qui accueille le festival d'Ambronay en septembre et octobre

And to cool off even more, the CCR offers tasting tours in the spring.


For a few minutes or several hours, we breathe the usual perfume welcoming of old stone, dust andincense. A welcome breath to continue his journey.

One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye
A. de Saint-Exupéry

Saint Exupéry, native son and great traveller, would be happy to experiment with his famous formula during a very special visit to the abbey: the sensory visit ! Two, one is a guide, the other is blindfolded, the time of a visit like no other. We go through all the emotions to enjoy this exceptional place otherwise than with the eyes...

Ambronay undoubtedly likes to surprise its visitors withunusual proposals. At the bend of a corridor, at the end of a vaulted passage, in the distance in the gardens, your ears will be able to discern the sound of a theorbo, a guitar or a cornetto, in the sandstone of the musical tour. A host of classical and less classical instruments to discover in the four corners of the beautiful abbey.

For the most curious, who cannot be satisfied with the decor, it is possible to go to the other side. By visiting the backstage of music Festival, it is yet another face that the abbey will present to you. That of a hive populated by artists and entertainers. Amazing.

Dame Ambronay adores children. Throughout the year she organizes fun visits, investigations to egg hunts in its gardens… And don't think that the Festival is reserved for grown-ups! Nay, family shows at low prices and free entertainment, the little ones also take full advantage of the musical atmosphere. Everything for the happiness of kids and their parents.

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