20 Place des Terreaux
+33 4 7210 1740
In 1802, the Museum of Fine Arts was installed in one of the oldest convents in Lyon. According to Medieval texts, women's monasteries were found as early as the end of the 7th century. This particular monastery became very influential and was able to purchase land throughout the region. Today's Dames de Saint Pierre was built in the second half of the 17th century but excavation in Saint Pierre chapel (where these relics can be seen) brought to light remains from the 12th century. In the 10-11th centuries, this Benedictine abbey took in mainly well-born women some of whom became renowned abbesses. Anne and Antoinette d'Ailly de Chaulnes were responsible for the 17th century reconstruction. The relatively plain facade has borrowed elements from classical architecture. The old cloister at the entrance to the museum can be visited when the museum is open and in the recently restored cloister garden you can see sculptures by Rodin (L'Ombre), Carpeaux and Bourdelle. In the summer, this is a good place to escape from the city.