Due to the current health situation arising from COVID-19 such as the measures decided by French government, the Hill Notre-Dame du Haut is closed indefinitely from Monday 16th 2020

The Monastery of St. Clare

In order to maintain the spiritual vocation of the place, the Association Oeuvre Notre-Dame du Haut asked the Poor Clare Sisters community of Besancon to settle on the hill. The arrival of the sisters in Ronchamp brings together, on the one hand, the desires of the Association, the Chaplain and the Archbishop of Besancon to establish a contemplative religious community near the chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut and, on the other, the thoughts/ambitions of the Poor Clare Sisters to find another place of prayer, better suited to the needs of modern society.

Today, the sisters are a living, discreet, friendly and sisterly presence on the hill. The community lives by its own work and leads liturgical prayer in the chapel of Notre-Dame du Haut in conjunction with the Christians of the region, or in the convent chapel, which is always open to the public. The sisters welcome visitors and pilgrims coming from all directions who wish to meet them for discussion and prayer or those searching for inner peace, healing and reflection and wishing to stay at the convent, either individually or as a group.

The sisters have been living in the monastery, designed by Renzo Piano, since 2011. This project is the successful result of the common reflection and the collaboration between the “Association des Amis de Sainte Colette“, the “Association Œuvre Notre-Dame du Haut”, the Renzo Piano Paris agency (Renzo Piano Building Workshop [RPBW]) and the community of Poor Clare Sisters.

Construction works, led by Paul VINCENT, the responsible senior architect in Renzo Piano’s team, were an artistic and technical challenge. The architecture of the convent of St. Clare is original, fully integrated into the hill. Simple in style and serious (a combination of concrete, glass and wood) it is, however, warm and creates a sense of inner peace. Their openness to the surrounding light and vegetation are the essential elements of the living spaces.

The project and the realization of the monastery Sainte-Claire was awarded the special jury prize “L'Equerre d'Argent” in 2012.