Church of Saint-Bruno des Chartreux

Lyon, France

The Church of Saint-Bruno des Chartreux is the only Baroque church in Lyon. The first monastic communities here were established by Carthusian monks from Grenoble, thanks to their good relations with the church in Lyon. They initially came to help the clergy of Lyon when the city was pillaged by Forez Guy in the 12th century and later obtained privileges such as an exemption from tolls on their journeys to Lyon. On a visit by King Henri III in August 1584, however, two Carthusian monks were presented to request him to grant his consent to the foundation of a Carthusian monastery in Lyon. They were successful, and the king also pledged 30,000 livres for its construction (though he never paid them). In 1589, Henri III died and was succeeded by Henri IV, who declared himself the founder of the Carthusian monastery and confirmed its exemptions and privileges, which were reconfirmed by Louis XIII and Louis XIV.

It took six years after the king's gift for the first stone of the church to be laid. Its construction was carried out in two phases: the first (1590-1690) included the choir, the small cloister, the sacristy and a few of the monks' cells; the second (in the 18th century) involved the completion of the nave, the transept and the side chapels. Finally, renovations and extensions occurred during the 19th century, mainly affecting the chapels and façade.

The choir now has only 5 windows, after several were blocked up during the second phase of works by the architect Ferdinand-Sigismond Delamonce in 1733-37. The Rococo stalls found here show reversed volutes and garlands of foliage as well as asymmetrical shells and garlands of flowers.

Typical of the 17th century Baroque style, the 1628 statues now located on the pilasters of the Munet arch were originally in the choir. They are by Sarazin and represent Saint Bruno of Cologne and Saint John the Baptist. The drapery of these figures is dynamically carved, and their thin faces and tense eyes add to their pathetic expressions.

Today the church organ is also located in the choir, but the church has only had one since 1890, when it became a parish church. It is now known as the best of the double keyboards in Lyon. Before 1890 the austerity of the Carthusian Rule made for an austere liturgy unadorned by organ music.

Built to hold the book of liturgical chants, the pulpit is in the shape of a spread-eagle (symbol of the Word of God) supported by a column carved with the Eucharistic symbols of grapes and vines, and rooted in a base with the figure of a dove (symbol of the Holy Spirit). It thus unites the three persons of the Holy Trinity.

Designed in the 18th century by Servandoni then modified very soon afterwards by Soufflot, the altar is notable for being two-sided, meaning that the office could equally well be celebrated from the monks' side or from the peoples' side.

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Details

Founded: 1590-1690
Category: Religious sites in France

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Ezra van de Sande (11 months ago)
It says it’s opened from 15:00 to 17:00… Well, it’s NEVER opened because there is ALWAYS a wedding going on. Don’t waste your time on this church only worth your while if you are fine with only seeing the exterior.
Garth Drury (3 years ago)
Lovely interior untouched since the revolution at least.
Anthony Andrews (3 years ago)
If you go at the right time, after 3pm I think, it's worth the visit. ?
이언호 (3 years ago)
It's a particular place
이언호 (3 years ago)
It's a particular place
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