The Collège des Bernardins, sometimes also called Collège Saint-Bernard, is located at 20 rue de Poissy, in the 5th arrondissement of the capital.
Founded by the abbot of Clairvaux Étienne de Lexington, it was built in 1248.
Being of the order of the Cistercians, it was, until the Revolution, a place of residence for the monks who were studying at the University of Paris.
Became well national in 1790, it is a time transformed into prison then the church of the college is razed. The college was acquired by the city of Paris in the 19th century, when the site housed a fire station and also served as a boarding school for auxiliary police officers.
Classified Historical Monument since 1887, the college is bought by the diocese of Paris in 2001.
A vast renovation project was then initiated and the construction took place from 2004 to 2008, partly led by the architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte for the contemporary spaces, the restoration of the old parts being supervised by the chief architect of the historical monuments.
The Collège des Bernardins is now the headquarters of the Académie Catholique de France and offers courses, lectures, exhibitions, exchange times and a theological training center.
It has 5000 m² (including 1000 m² created during recent work), and has about fifteen classrooms and two auditoriums.
The site is accessible to the general public for free visits to the nave and the old sacristy and for guided tours every day at 16h.
Open every day except Sunday and public holidays from 10h to 18h. Price: 3 and 6 euros.
Information on +33 1 53 10 74 44.