The Monastère Royal de Brou is best known for Saint Nicolas’s Church. Designed in the flamboyant gothic style by the Flemish architect Loys Van Boghem, it took 25 years to build and was consecrated in 1532. The church was built on the instructions of Marguerite of Austria the daughter of the Austrian Emperor Maximilian, in memory of her late husband Philibert le Beau, Duke of Savoy, who died at the age of 24 leaving Marguerite broken hearted. Both Philibert’s and Marguerite’s tombs are located in the centre of the church. The church is wonderfully decorated with paintings by Jan Van Roome and Bernard Van Orley and sculptures by Conrad Meyt. The monastery was home to a community of Augustinian monks up until the French Revolution. Today the Monastère Royal de Brou houses an art gallery with works from various French, Italian, Belgian and Dutch artists from the 17th century up to the present day as well as a library containing over 12,000 books on the subject of art history. Located in historical Bourg-en-Bresse the Monastère Royal de Brou is the highlight of any visit to Ain.
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