11 rue Bourgelat
+33 4 7240 0250
Like the église Saint Paul in old Lyons, the abbey of Saint Martin d'Ainay is proof of the Romanesque Lyons architecture often eclipsed by the Gothic. Dating at least from the Carolingian era, the present abbey, of which there remains nothing but the church, dates mostly from the 12th century. The buildings at the end of the Middle Ages reflected the wealth of the abbey but the Protestants judged this wealth incompatible with monastic vows, so they looted the abbey. The Revolution finished what they started. Today it remains a testimony to architectural history of the area and is a favorite of visitors. Admission is free.