During the early 17th century, members of a Catholic reform movement opened a school next to the abbey in an attempt to defy Jesuit teachings. Run by Cistercians nuns, the school—which was called the Petites écoles de Port-Royal—was an important and influential establishment for the great debaters and orators of the time, including Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine. The school was eventually transformed into an art museum, though the collection of paintings, books, and engravings accurately reflects the political and religious movement in French history. The most notable pieces are religious works and portraits by French baroque painter Philippe de Champaigne.
Things to know before you go
- The museum is closed on Tuesdays.
- Free admission to the museum happens on the first Sunday of every month.
- Free parking is available.
- The abbey ruins are open only on Saturday, Sunday, and public holidays.
- Call ahead to schedule a guided tour of the museum.
How to get there
The National Museum of Port-Royal des Champs can be accessed by car or train from Paris or Versailles. And on Sundays, you can take the Baladobus from the Saint Remy les Chevreuse train station from April to October.
When to get there
Though the museum is not a highly trafficked attraction, the grounds operate on two different schedules according to season. From November through March (low season) the museum is open 10:30am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 5:30pm on weekdays; and 10:30am to 6pm on weekends and public holidays. From April through October (high season) the museum is open 10:30am to 12:30pm and 2:00pm to 6pm on weekdays; and 10:30am to 6:30pm on weekends and public holidays.
Things to Do Near Port-Royal des Champs Museum
If you rent a car consider making the roughly 20-minute drive to the city of Versaille from Port-Royal des Champs to see the famed Versailles Palace and Gardens.
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