"Eglise Saint-Francois (I&V)" Top 5 Page for this destination Eglise St-Francois Tip by Zvrlj

Eglise St-Francois, Lausanne: 4 reviews and 14 photos

  Eglise Saint-Francois
by Zvrlj
  • Eglise Saint-Francois - Lausanne
      Eglise Saint-Francois
    by Zvrlj
  • Eglise Saint-Francois interior - Lausanne
      Eglise Saint-Francois interior
    by Zvrlj
  • Eglise Saint-Francois interior decoration - Lausanne
      Eglise Saint-Francois interior decoration
    by Zvrlj

Church Saint Francois dominates the square of the same name. Located at lower end of Grand Pont, sharply between Gare centrale de Lausanne ? Lausanne central railway station and Cathedrale Notre-Dame, with city bus station for several lines ? the square is one of the most prominent places in the city. Together with the cathedral, the church is the only medieval religious building in Lausanne.

Here are some facts about Saint Francois church from the leaflet we picked in it: "Franciscan monks settled in Lausanne in the year 1258. Bishop Jean of Cossonay had summoned them from Besancon and Salins to found a new community. They were immediately granted a piece of land, upon which they built their convent and church. The exact dates of the construction of the church remain unknown, however we do know that the main work was finished around 1272. The church of Saint-Francois was built according to the rules set up at the Franciscan Synod of Narbonne, under the ruling of Saint Bonaventure, It is quite typical of the 13th century buildings of the mendicant orders who were so rapidly developing throughout the Western world during that period. [?] Around 1368, a fire destroyed Lausanne, including the sanctuary of the Franciscan Friars. The vaulted choir survived, but not so the nave and its wooden roof. Reconstruction was done stepwise during the last third of the 14th century. [?] The architect responsible for this reconstruction was Jean of Liege. [?] In the beginning of the 15th century, a bell tower was added and in the late 15th or early 16th century the rood-loft was demolished and replaced by the present pulpit. In 1536, Reformation was established: it was in the church of Saint- Francois that Pierre Viret preached return to the Gospel. Shortly after, convents were abolished by the Reformation Act and Saint-Francois became the parish church of the low city. Today, it still is the center of that neighborhood's reformed parish. From the end of 19th century on, Saint-Francois was restored and consolidated several times. The disfiguring aisles added during the 17th and the 18th centuries were removed in 1930. [?] The restoration carried out between 1990 and 1995 [?] was aimed at respecting the passage of time, but above all at enhancing the painted decorative elements preserved inside the church of Saint-Francois. The choir vaults are decorated with white on beige 'false-joints' and those of the first bay have kept their 15th century arms. On the other vaults of the nave, one can admire the exceptional black and white decoration dating back to the beginning of the 17th century, as well as the adjoining walls coated in matching gray pointed with white. Thus, it is at the end of the 20th century that this sanctuary of Lausanne recovered its architectural unity."

The church has very unusual and spooky automatic door, but this should not stop anyone to enter it and see the interior, it should just prevent slightly disturbing (but later funny) experience. The door of Eglise Saint-Francois surprised VT member Sue, too ? what a relief to share such a strange occurrence with somebody.

Address: Place Saint-Francois, Lausanne

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 17, 2010
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