Located in the heart of the city, the Abbey Church is the symbolic building of the city of Payerne.
The Abbey is the biggest Roman church in Switzerland, it was build beginning of the year 1000 following a typical clunisian style.
The functional and symbolic harmony of the spaces (before-nave with vault dedicated to Saint Michel, nave, transversal gallery, choir and vaults) in harmonious sculpted decoration (capitals, bands from "Lombardie", sculptures of men holding an entablature) and finally Roman (before-nave) and Gothic (vaults) murals. The chapter house testifies from the old conventual's buildings.
In 965, the monastery from Payerne knew a happy development as of its tender with Maïeul, the abbot of Cluny. The Burgond kings befor the Germanic emperors covered it with gifts (donations). The priory remained a high place of clunisian civilisation, in the middle of an active commercial borough, until the monks' expulsion by the Protestant reform in 1536.
After centuries of carelessness, the monastic buildings were relieved from there secular uses, restored and finally meticulously studied.
The primary mission of the European Federation of Cluniac Sites (FESC) is to establish a network of sites across Europe which helped to extend and consolidate the extraordinary spiritual, artistic, economic, political and social influence that Cluny Abbey (southern Burgundy, France) exerted over the continent between the 10th and 18th centuries.
During this time, the monks of Cluny would fuel the emergence of hundreds of towns and cities. Today, each of these places bears witness to this unique part of Europe’s shared cultural heritage.
Payerne Abbey Church is a member of the Network of Cluniac Sites, a Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe.
The Abbey of Payerne is currently closed to the public because of the safeguarding works that are taking place there. It is now possible to visit her site every Saturday in July and August 2018. In addition, guided tours will be held on September 8 and 15, 2018. Outside these dates, guided tours on request are possible (+41 26 662 67 04).