22 January 2015

Fontenay Abbey in Burgundy (3)

That web site about the Abbaye Royale de Fontenay that CHM mentioned in a comment yesterday has an English-language version, here. I grabbed the text that accompanies my photos in this post from the Fontenay Abbey site, which itself features  many excellent pictures of the whole complex as well as of the interiors of the buildings.

Fontenay Abbey in Burgundy was founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, a leading French saint, and is the oldest preserved Cistercian abbey in the world.

Recognized as French historic monument in 1862, it was declared World Heritage by Unesco in 1981. It was one of the first French monuments on this list, which has distinguished the exceptional interest of the Abbey and its natural environment.

After the French revolution, which led to the departure of the monks, it was converted to an industrial use which preserved all the buildings of the Romanesque period: the Abbey Church, the Dormitory, Cloister, Chapter Room, the Common Room, and the Forge.

The Abbey is decorated with a landscaped park which was listed in 2004 as "Remarkable Garden" by the National Council of Parks and Gardens. 

Located in northern Burgundy, it is nestled in a fully preserved valley which extends over 1,200 hectares.

Since 1820, the Abbey of Fontenay has been the private ownership of the same family, which continues to preserve this exceptional site opening to public visit all year round. The Abbey welcomes 100,000 visitors each year who come to admire the beauty and purity of architecture unspoiled for 900 years, and enjoy the quiet of a place designed for spirituality.


  1. Lovely photos and captions. Btw, did you know that your blog looks differently on my smartphone?... more space between text and photos, while it is mobile firendly ... which Walt's isn't. I can see his blog on my smartphone, but I can't zoom in to read it. :( Martine

    1. I don't have a smartphone, so I can't know about the blog displaying on one. I do have two or three tablets and I try to see how the blog looks on those -- maybe not every day but fairly often. We are slaves of the Blogger software. Fortunately, because we don't have to do so much work as to make blogging an unpleasant task; and unfortunately, because certain things are just out of our control. C'est ça, les engrenages...

  2. Ken,

    If you have a chance for your third attempt, you will enjoy your visit and well worth it ( we did the trip from Gilly les Cisteaux and took all the winding D roads - a long day trip).

  3. What a place. Geeeeeeeeee.... so many beautiful spots in Burgundy and the Loire... well... and in Normandy... and in the Dordogne... okay... everywhere!

  4. When we were there a few years ago there was an English Setter whose manners were not as good as Callies. She was jumping in and out of the ornamental pond with the fish in it! Having a wow of a time. A little less serenity than was called for we thought! Sue


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