The timeline

April 1234

In order to provide Paris’s Franciscan monks (the Cordeliers) with “spacious lodgings”, Louis IX orders that some lands belonging to the Saint-Germain-des-Prés Abbey be bequeathed to the brotherhood.

1234 - 1263

Construction of the Cordeliers’ church and convent.

1358 - 1370

Construction starts on the Réfectoire des Cordeliers.


End of the Réfectoire’s construction.


A fire damages the Cordeliers’ cloister and church.

1673 - 1683

Beginning and end of the cloister’s reconstruction, including a newly created gallery.


Louis XVI confirms that the Cordeliers remain the owners of the conventual ensemble.


The Cordelier’s convent becomes a property of the state during the Revolution, leading the Franciscan monks to leave the building for good.


Edme Verniquet completes his Paris map in one section of the Cordeliers’ convent.

April 1790

Creation of the Club des Cordeliers, a revolutionary club whose members notably included Danton, Marat, Camille Desmoulins and Choderlos de Laclos.

March 14, 1794

The leaders of the Club des Cordeliers are guillotined after their arrest by the Committee of Public Safety. The Club closes in April 1795.


The Cordeliers’ church and convent are torn down.


The state sets up the Paris School of Health and Medicine on the site of the old convent and in the Réfectoire.

Early 19th century

Almost all of the buildings are torn down, except for the Réfectoire and the cloister.

1806 - 1813

Work is undertaken on the Réfectoire to accommodate Francesco Bellini’s School of Mosaic and Jean Tobie Mercklein’s mechanical workshop (which was to leave the Réfectoire in 1826).


Inauguration of the Dupuytren Museum within the Réfectoire. A series of renovations and rearrangements is undertaken by architect Alphonse de Gisors.


The medical purpose of the Cordeliers site is definitively settled. The City of Paris decrees that the School of Medicine would remain in perpetuity on this plot of land and in these buildings.


All the recent buildings erected by Alphonse de Gisors are torn down, and replaced by new, more spacious buildings.


The Réfectoire is registered as a Historic Monument.

1929 – 1935

The Réfectoire is restored: the roof is thoroughly renovated, the chimney stacks are removed and the 19th-century skylights are replaced.


A new restoration campaign is undertaken in the Réfectoire, with the tearing down of the interior load-bearing wall erected in 1806.


Launch of a new restoration phase, showcasing the Réfectoire. Creation of 39 housing units for scholars and rehabilitation of the 18th-century welcome pavilion. Delivery is scheduled for the 2nd semester of 2018.