Church of St-Jean-Baptiste, Grandson
The Romanesque church of St-Jean-Baptiste is all that remains of the former Benedictine monastery which was founded in Grandson in 1049. From 1140, the priory was made subordinate to the Abbey of La Chaise-Dieu in the Auvergne, and the influence of the abbey can be seen in the Romanesque architecture. There was also a close connection to the abbots of Cluny. After the Burgundian wars, Grandson was ruled by Berne and Fribourg and, as a consequence of the Reformation, the monastery was finally dissolved in 1554. Relics of the first church are the remains of the walls in the north chapel. The building of the cornered cupula and the reconstruction of the former nave into a basilica with three arched aisles can be attributed to the monks of La Chaise-Dieu. The beauty of the church is mainly due to the lightness of its architecture.As in the church of St-Aimable-de-Riom in the Auvergne, the side aisles have half-barreled or double-barreled roofs. The nave has a round-barreled roof of tuft, supported by beautiful marbled pillars, with capitals full of fanciful decoration. The seat of the priors (who included St Hugo, a former monk of the "Grande Chartreuse") has a representation of his swan and is considered the finest carving of its kind in Switzerland. A special mention should be made of the frescoes of the 15th C. tomb in a niche in the south chapel and the wall tabernacle (1470) by Pierre Chapuiset in the north chapel. The great Romanesque capitals of the main aisle form a unity of the highest artistic work. In spite of their varied inspirations, they form a unified synthesis of spiritual themes concerning the tragedy of human existence and the mystery of Christ. In the Battle of Grandson the Confederates gained their first victory on March 2, 1478 over Duke Karl the Bold of Burgundy, who lost all his artillery and a great deal of treasure which can now be seen in the Historical Museum of Berne.
Map - Church of St-Jean-Baptiste
Map of Yverdon-les-Bains Attractions