Saint-Ruf Reformed Temple in Valence (Drôme)

  • Saint Ruf de Valence, temple (Drôme) © M. Chalamet

As early as 1541 the Reformation had become established at the university in Valence. The bishop, Jean de Monluc, proved tolerant and a Reformed church was founded in 1558.

The order of Saint Ruf was one of the wealthiest in Avignon in the 13th century. Driven away by the Albigeois, the monks settled in Valence. In the 16th century, during the Wars of Religion, they sought refuge in the monastery at Epervière, but the buildings were burnt down by soldiers of the Protestant party. Later on they settled in Saint-Jacques priory.

In 1702 the monks of Saint Ruf built an abbey and a chapel in Baroque style : stucco flower garlands in the nave, the splendour of gold above the choir, etc. The order of Saint Ruf was rich and worship showy.

At the end of the 18th century the Abott of Saint Ruf wanted to reform the impious order, but the monks rebelled against him. A trial took place that lasted for forty years. The Conseil d’Etat (Council of State) dissolved the order in 1773. The buildings were then secularised. At the Revolution, the chapel of Saint Ruf was turned into a municipal storehouse.

In 1794 it became the Temple of Reason. It was also used as a Masonic Lodge. In 1801, the chapel was made over for Protestant worship. Its 17th century interior decoration can still be seen today.

Church-Temple in Beaumont-Lès-Valence (Drôme)

  • Partie protestante du temple de Beaumont-lès-Valence (Drôme)
    Beaumont-lès-Valence (Drôme), Protestant side © M. Chalamet

Between the Diois and Ardèche regions, the primitive Beaumont church was built by Benedictine monks in the 15th century. In 1598, to implement the Edict of Nantes, Catholics took back the sanctuary. In 1806, the building was cut in two to enforce the simultaneum : namely the choir and apse for Catholic worship, and the nave and great door are Protestant.. It is still like that today.

Change Temple (1803) in Lyon (Rhône)

  • Lyon (69) the Change temple © R. Laurent

This civil building was a former Masonic Lodge made over to the Reformed Protestants for worship under the Consulat regime. It was redesigned in 1803. Change Temple is still used today by the Reformed Church.



  • Books
    • LAURENT René, Promenade à travers les temples de France, Les Presses du Languedoc, Millau, 1996, p. 520

Associated notes

  • Lieux de mémoire en Rhône-Alpes

    Cette grande région couvre les départements de l’Ardèche (07), de la Drôme (26), de l’Isère (38), de la Loire (42), du Rhône (69), de l’Ain (01), de la Savoie (73)...