The thirteenth century College des Bernardins is an impressive building by day.  By night well planned lighting, inside and out, transforms the whole into a glowing stone sculpture.

 

 

Founded in 1248, the college served for five hundred years as a residence for Cistercian monks from all over Europe studying at the University of Paris.  Confiscated at the Revolution in 1790, the building became in turn a prison, a warehouse, a barracks and a fire station.  Weakened by successive adaptations, the building was in a fragile state when, in 2004, it was bought by the archdiocese of Paris.   After an ambitious renovation programme, supported by the Ministry of Culture, the college was reopened in 2008 as a centre for cultural and religious studies, open to all.  The varied programme of public meetings, courses, exhibitions and concerts is supported by six research departments, aiming to recapture the spirit of intellectual exchange and reflection that inspired the original foundation.

(Click on any photo to view the gallery)