© Musee Du Cloitre Notre Dame En Vaux Chalons Statues Colonnes | Office de Tourisme
Delve into the history of the

Notre‑Dame en Vaux Cloister Museum

The Cloister Museum is a museum of medieval religious art which contains the remains of the cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Collegiate Church dating from the 12th century. It has a remarkable collection of 55 statue-columns, with exceptionally fine sculptures of both capitals and columns.

Discover a

major medieval monument

The Musée du Cloître first opened in 1978, following archaeological excavations carried out between 1963 and 1976 by the historian Léon Pressouyre, on the site of the former cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux Collegiate Church, a monument that is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These excavations unearthed three quarters of the cloister’s elements. They revealed a building of exceptional iconographic interest and lavish decoration. This cloister is a major monument in the history of sculpture during the transition from the Romanesque to Gothic era.

The cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux was built to the north of the collegiate church in the 1170’s. It was an ostentatious monument, symbolising the wealth of the parish, which at that time received numerous donations from pilgrims who came to worship the Virgin.

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A remarkable collection

The faithful were only admitted on rare occasions, which explains why this monument has never been written about or recorded in graphic form. It was destroyed in 1759 and 1766 by the canons and parishioners who no longer wanted to pay for the repairs and fell into a state of neglect for two centuries.

Today, the museum presents a remarkable collection of 55 statue-columns, with decorative and historiated capitals, cornices and pillars that adorned this unique structure. The quality of these sculptures is exceptional and both the capitals and the columns, are simply breath taking.

During your visit, you can step outside to explore the medieval cloister garden, located between the museum and the church.

Practical information

Visit the Cloister Museum

Tour lasts: Approximately 1 hour

Alternatively, take a tour of the museum with an expert guide who will describe the sculptures and iconographic details that you might not have noticed.

The Cloister Museum is open on Monday and from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed on Tuesdays.

Exceptional closing on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st, November 11th and December 25th.

Passes are on sale at the entrance of museums.

Museum pass valid for 15 days for the 3 municipal museums:

Full Price Reduced Price
€4 €3

Free admission to all three museums on the 1st Sunday of each month.

Explore

the municipal museums

The Museum Pass gives you entry to the three municipal museums in Châlons-en-Champagne. Find out more here.