Announcement of the 2023 programme

As part of the project to have European Cluniac sites – of which the Abbey Church of Payerne is one – listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Abbey Church team is committed in 2023 to publicising the strengths of the candidacy and promoting the Payerne site.

31 March – 21 May 2023: Exhibition “A look at the collections: the Abbey church as seen by artists”. (texts in French and German)

As the emblematic silhouette of the town of Payerne, the Abbey Church has fascinated and inspired generations of artists. The Abbey Museum will be exhibiting 17 of the finest works held in its collections, reflecting the changing way in which the monument has been viewed from the 19th to the 21st century.

17 June 2023 – 18 February 2024: Exhibition devoted to the network of Cluniac sites (texts in French and German)

In conjunction with the UNESCO bid, a major exhibition will be devoted to the Abbey of Cluny and the dense network of Cluniac churches, which in the Middle Ages stretched across the whole of Europe. The focus will be on the Swiss Cluniac sites: Payerne, of course, but also Romainmôtier, Montcherand and Bursins, which are also on the list of sites proposed for inclusion.

End of 2023: Publication of a reference work on the Abbey of Payerne (in French)

The major restoration of the Abbey Church, completed in 2020, has revolutionised our knowledge of the monument. The results of these many years of work will be published in the form of a long-awaited collective work, edited by Brigitte Pradervand, a specialist in medieval art and the history of Payerne. The history of the Payerne priory, the different phases in the construction of the Abbey Church, its decorations and its uses from the Middle Ages to the present day will be presented in unprecedented depth and with generous iconography.

A year of music

For its part, the Association des Concerts de Payerne is preparing a particularly rich musical programme for 2023, in addition to the regular organ concerts on the 1st Saturday of each month. The season will kick off in April with 40 hours of music in the Abbey Church to celebrate Good Friday and Easter: Arvo Pärt’s Passio, Rachmaninov’s Vespers and continuous musical creation (with the possibility of spending the night in music in the Abbey Church). The season will continue in June with the now traditional Concerts of Light at 6am, around the summer solstice. In September, musical events will enhance the visit to the Abbey, in conjunction with the Poulpe Festival. Finally, the end of the year will see a top-class choral concert given by the Orlando Fribourg Ensemble and the release of a book-CD featuring transcriptions of medieval notated archives preserved at Payerne.

Other events and activities (special tours, workshops, PâKOMUZé, etc.) linked to this programme will be announced over the course of the year.

© Site de l'Abbatiale de Payerne / Rémy Gindroz, 2020

Special closure: The Abbey Church, the discovery tour and our reception will be closed on Tuesday 23 April 2024.