The Payerne Abbey Church © Abbatiale de Payerne
The Payerne Abbey Church © Studio Patrick Jantet
The Payerne Abbey Church © Studio Patrick Jantet

The Payerne Abbey Church

One of the best preserved examples of Romanesque art in Switzerland, Payerne abbey church has a long and fascinating history. Along with guided tours, there are regular exhibitions, concerts and other cultural events held at this important spiritual site.

The main centre of La Broye, near Yverdon-les-Bains and the Three Lakes Region, the mediaeval town of Payerne was built around its Romanesque abbey church.

Built in the 11th century on the site of an early religious community founded by Queen Berthe, the construction of Payerne abbey church was possible thanks to generous donations from the Burgundy royal family and its attachment to the powerful Cluny monastery.

The nave, with its 5-apse chevet, is one of the finest examples of Romanesque interior design in Switzerland. The functional and symbolic harmony of the spaces is enhanced by the sculpted decorations and Romanesque (pre-nave) and Gothic mural paintings (chapels).

When the monks were expelled in 1536 with the Reform, the abbey church was deconsecrated and used as a granary until the 20th century.

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