Our Benedictine abbey was raised at the end of the 7th century by the future archbishop of Vienna, saint Barnard, on the foundations of a small church dedicated to Virgin Mary, destroyed by Saracens in 732.
Barnard, such a V.I.P.! Because he was a nobleman in king Charlemagne's court, but also the founder of Romans abbey (Drôme) and abbot of the second Ambronay abbey, in 803. A powerful abbey, since only pope ruled on it, and abbots were like lords in the city! Every knights in the area, even the mightiest one, were their vassals!
Ambronay was very prosperous, in the Middle-Ages: just imagine, more than 200 monks used to live here, and the abbey owned more than 20 priories! Ambronay church was raised between the 13th and 15th century: then they built the cloister, the dormitory and the chapter room.
At the end of the 17th century, buildings were restored and architect Caristie raised the sacristy in the 18th century. Nowadays, the abbey houses a cultural centre and we can visit buildings!