Melva Mannino

Melva Mannino

Published: 21 Sep 2023


Brou Monastery is a fascinating and historic landmark located in the Ain department of eastern France. Founded in the 16th century by Marguerite d’Autriche, Brou Monastery is renowned for its stunning architecture, intricate details, and rich history. This magnificent monastery, with its mix of Gothic and Renaissance styles, attracts visitors from around the world who are captivated by its beauty and aura of tranquility. Whether you are a history buff, an architecture enthusiast, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Brou Monastery is a must-visit destination. In this article, we will delve into 19 captivating facts about Brou Monastery, shedding light on its significance, its unique features, and the intriguing stories that surround it.

Table of Contents

A Masterpiece of Gothic Architecture

Brou Monastery is considered one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in France. Its intricate details and soaring spires make it a sight to behold.

Commissioned by Margaret of Austria

The monastery was commissioned by Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy, in memory of her husband, Philibert the Fair. It was constructed between 1506 and 1532.

A Triptych of Art

The monastery is composed of three distinct parts: a church, a cloister, and a chapter house. Each section showcases exquisite artwork and craftsmanship.

Magnificent Stained Glass Windows

The church of Brou Monastery is adorned with stunning stained glass windows that depict various religious scenes. The vibrant colors and intricate designs create a mesmerizing atmosphere.

The Tomb of Margaret of Austria

The monastery is home to the tomb of Margaret of Austria, a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture. The elaborate tomb is adorned with detailed carvings and intricate bronze decorations.

Home to a Rare Choir Screen

Brou Monastery features a rare and exceptional choir screen made from intricately carved marble. The screen separates the choir from the main nave of the church.

A Symbol of Devotion

Brou Monastery was built as a symbol of Margaret of Austria’s devotion to her husband. It stands as a testament to their love and the legacy they left behind.

A Place of Pilgrimage

The monastery has been a popular destination for pilgrims since its construction. Visitors come from all around the world to admire its beauty and seek spiritual solace.

Architectural Influences

The monastery blends elements of Flemish and French architectural styles, creating a unique and harmonious design that is both grand and elegant.

Breathtaking Sculptures

The exterior of Brou Monastery is adorned with intricate sculptures depicting biblical figures, saints, and angels. Each sculpture is a work of art in its own right.

A Place of Reflection

The peaceful cloister of the monastery provides a serene environment for reflection and contemplation. Its tranquil atmosphere invites visitors to find inner peace.

A Haven for Music

Brou Monastery has gained a reputation for its exceptional acoustics, making it a sought-after venue for concerts and musical performances.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site

In 1998, Brou Monastery was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognizing its cultural and historical significance.

Grandiose Organ

The church houses a magnificent organ with intricate craftsmanship. Its melodious tones fill the space with beautiful music.

A Symbol of Female Power

Brou Monastery is often celebrated as a symbol of female power and influence in the architectural world. Margaret of Austria’s vision and patronage helped bring this grand project to life.

A Hidden Gem

Despite its grandeur, Brou Monastery remains somewhat off the beaten path. This hidden gem offers visitors a unique and intimate experience.

Inspiration for Artists

Over the centuries, Brou Monastery has inspired countless artists, writers, and poets with its ethereal beauty and serene ambiance.

A Timeless Beauty

Despite the passage of time, the beauty of Brou Monastery remains unscathed. Its charm and allure continue to captivate visitors to this day.

A Symbol of Faith

Above all, Brou Monastery serves as a symbol of faith and devotion. It stands as a reminder of the enduring power of spirituality.

Visiting Brou Monastery is truly a journey into a world of timeless elegance and spirituality. Its rich history, stunning architecture, and captivating atmosphere make it a must-visit destination for history and art enthusiasts alike. Whether you are seeking solace, inspiration, or simply a glimpse into the past, Brou Monastery promises an unforgettable experience.


Brou Monastery is a truly remarkable landmark filled with fascinating history and stunning architecture. From its origins as a royal residence to its eventual transformation into a monastery, every aspect of Brou Monastery tells a story. Its intricate details, impressive artwork, and peaceful ambiance make it an unforgettable destination for travelers seeking a unique cultural experience. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or simply exploring beautiful landmarks, Brou Monastery offers something for everyone. So, make sure to add it to your bucket list and prepare to be captivated by its beauty and charm.


1. What is the history of Brou Monastery?

Brou Monastery was built in the 16th century as a royal residence by Margaret of Austria. Later, it was transformed into a monastery by her granddaughter-in-law, Marguerite of Bourbon.

2. What architectural style is Brou Monastery?

Brou Monastery is a stunning example of Flamboyant Gothic architecture, characterized by its intricate detailing, ornate ornamentation, and pointed arches.

3. Are there guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to learn more about the history, art, and significance of Brou Monastery. These tours provide valuable insights and enhance the overall experience.

4. Can visitors enter the inner courtyards and gardens?

No, the inner courtyards and gardens of Brou Monastery are not open to the public. However, the exterior and main areas of the monastery offer plenty to explore and admire.

5. Is photography allowed inside Brou Monastery?

Photography is generally allowed in the public areas of Brou Monastery. However, it’s always best to check with the staff or guides for any specific restrictions or guidelines.