Protestant Museum of the Dauphiné

The protestant museum of the Dauphiné is situated in a XVth century building which became a temple two centuries later. Together with the temple of Collet de Dèze in Lozère, it is unusual in the fact that it was not pulled down at the time of the Revocation. Le Poet-Laval is a picturesque medieval village, a military post belonging to the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who joined the Reform Movement in the XVIth century.

The history of the Reform Movement in the Dauphiné

This museum was opened in 1961 and deals with three main periods of protestant history in the Dauphiné ; mention is also made of the Waldensians, travelling preachers who spread the gospel from the XIIth century onwards in this area.

These three clearly defined periods, are illustrated by various objects and documents :

  • In the first period, the Reform Movement is symbolized by Guillaume Farel, who came from the Dauphiné ; there is also information about the setting up of the first churches, the wars of religion and the rules implemented by the Edict of Nantes.
  • The second period begins at the Revocation and includes religious persecution, Isabeau Vincent and the prophets, the Church of the “Désert”.
  • The third period spans the period from the Revolution in 1789 to the building up of a united protestant church with Tommy Fallot and Marc Boegner. The time when the Church was restored its civic rights and the various “revival movements” are also included.
  • During the Second World War period the subjects treated are the Resistance and rescuing the Jews from the hands of the Nazis ; within the last 40 years the ecumenical movement has inspired many to believe in a “new reform” of the Church.

In one of the rooms of the museum you can see a collection of modern mosaics depicting biblical, religious or poetic themes.

A library can be found next to the museum where French and international students or those doing research can find rare works and also archives containing various documents ; parish registers, family records, correspondence etc…

Every year, there is a temporary exhibition with a different theme, for example the protestants of the Dauphiné in the second world war, the Waldensians, the French Church of London and French protestant refugees in Great Britain, the fourth centenary of the Edict of Nantes, the ninth centenary of the order of St. John of Jerusalem, etc.

Protestant Museum of the Dauphiné
Temple du vieux village
F-26160 Le Poët-Laval
Tél : +33 (0) 4 75 46 46 33
Contact :

Protestant Museum of the Dauphiné

Author: Protestant Museum of the Dauphiné


  • Sites
    • Site du Musée du protestantisme dauphinois | Link

Associated notes

  • Revival Movements

    The 19th century revival movement took shape within the context of romanticism. Its piety is of a more existential and sentimental nature, a piety « revived » when compared to a faith...
  • Tommy Fallot (1844-1904)

    Since his youth, Tommy Fallot had always been shocked by the protestant Church’s lack of interest in social issues (perhaps this may have been due to the fact that at...
  • Marc Boegner (1881-1970)

    Marc Boegner was a pastor with outstanding charisma, and a prominent figure in contemporary French Protestantism. He also acknowledged its various tendencies, and very early accepted big responsibilities. During the...
  • Guillaume Farel (1489-1565)

    Farel was the reformer of French-speaking Switzerland, precisely in the Neuchâtel area. He was a preacher but also an organiser and author of a liturgy in French.
  • The Edict of Nantes (1598)

    This was Henri IV’s major achievement : the terms of this edict ensured the peaceful coexistence of Catholics and Protestants and brought a stop to all hostilities in France after 36 years...
  • Revocation of the Edict of Nantes

    Decided by Louis XIV, this revocation on October 22, 1685 led to the increased repression of Protestants (death sentences and sentences to row the galleys, forced conversion, etc.). It amplified...
  • The Protestants during World War II

    In June 1940 at the time of defeat, the attitude of the Protestants was similar to that of most of the French : they trusted Field Marshall Pétain. But the break...
  • Methodism

  • Sur les pas des Huguenots

    Du Poët-Laval (Drôme) à Bad Karlshafen (Allemagne), en passant par Genève, un itinéraire culturel européen marche sur les traces de l’exil des Huguenots dauphinois, au lendemain de la révocation de...