In the early 17th century members of a Catholic reform movement against the Jesuits set up a school in an abbey of Cistercian nuns. The school, called the Petites écoles de Port-Royal in French, became incredibly influential, with intellectuals like Blaise Pascal and Jean Racine refining their beliefs and skills of reason and debate within its walls.
Today the Port-Royal des Champs Museum, overlooking the ruined abbey, recounts the history of this intellectual, religious and political movement through its collection of paintings, books and engravings. Most notable is the collection of paintings by Philippe de Champaigne, a seventeenth century French baroque painter famous for his religious works and portraits of French nobility.
Port-Royal des Champs Museum is free on the first Sunday of every month and closed on Tuesdays.