The former Jacobins convent is a vast building founded in 1271 by Alix de Méranie, Countess of Burgundy. It was home to a congregation of Friars Preachers until the French Revolution, when it became a sub-prefecture for a number of years. Almost nothing remains of the former convent: the cloister was dismantled some fifty years ago, but the large square tower known as the "Library Tower", topped by the clock tower, was already part of the 15th-century ramparts.
It is now a state secondary school, the Lycée Hyacinthe Friant, renowned above all for its hotel education. It includes a training restaurant on the Place des Déportés, where students can have lunch during the school year, an administrative section and traditional classrooms.
The Jacobins church dates from the 13th century. It is in the purest Gothic style and has three naves without a transept. There are a number of elaborate keystones, a recently discovered triforium and a monumental marble altarpiece built in the 18th century, which occupies the back of the apse.
This church once housed the funerary monuments of Poligny's most illustrious families. All that remains is the statue of Thomas de Plaine, Chancellor and Emperor Maximilian.
The Jacobins church is considered to be one of the most beautiful in France, with exceptional acoustics. In fact, a hole has been made in the choir, under the sculpted base. This hole opens onto a pear-shaped terracotta pot that produces an incomparable sound.
The Jacobins church was restored in 2022, giving rise to a medieval festival throughout the village of Poligny: the Jacobins festival, on 1, 2 and 3 July 2022.
An association was set up in 2003 with the aim of restoring this unique building in France.
Les Jacobins" has published a magazine about the church of the same name: "L'église et le Couvent des Jacobins", available from Claude Châtrenet: