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“Wish I was a monk...”
Review of Abbaye de Fontenay

Abbaye de Fontenay
Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Montbard
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Abbey of Fontenay was founded by Saint Bernard in 1118. It is one of the oldest Cistercian abbeys in Europe. The Romanesque architecture offers a remarkable unity to all buildings remained intact since the Middle Ages. The Abbey was transformed into a paper mill after the French Revolution by the family Montgolfier and was bought back in 1906 by Edouard Aynard, the ancestor of the present owners who continue on safeguarding this masterpiece of Romanesque art. The old Abbey of Fontenay (12th century) was one of the first monuments to be inscribed on the Unesco world heritage list. This classification has distinguished the exceptional value of Fontenay and its environment. Free Parking and gift shop.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 6 April 2018

This monestary is located in an amazing location with woods all around and running water everywhere.
They built an amazing complex that from being a solitary retreat at the beginning became a thriving and active monastery that produced and sold many products and was a center of activities of 5he region.
The buildings supply a hint of what life was like at that one with beautiful architecture, very nice cloister, beautiful gardens and an active producing lines utilizing water power...

Thank Amnon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Direction_Abbaye, Responsable relations clients at Abbaye de Fontenay, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2018

Dear Visitor, thank you for your comment and your visit. we are glad you could appreciate this unique place. Interestingly, the 900 year old water works actually saved the abbey from destruction during the French Revolution, as they allowed they abbey to be reused as a paper mill. we hope to see you again in Fontenay.

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"main chapel"
in 2 reviews
"cistercian monks"
in 6 reviews
"a unesco world heritage site"
in 5 reviews
"serene atmosphere"
in 3 reviews
"french revolution"
in 5 reviews
"incredible place"
in 4 reviews
"gift shop"
in 7 reviews
"french countryside"
in 2 reviews
"stunning architecture"
in 2 reviews
"self guided tour"
in 5 reviews
"medieval history"
in 2 reviews
"middle ages"
in 5 reviews
"worth the entry fee"
in 2 reviews
"different buildings"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 7 reviews
"several languages"
in 2 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 2 reviews
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Reviewed 29 March 2018

Fonteney Abbey is a UNESCO site in private ownership which has been lovingly restored and bought back to life. There is a whole monastic wasy of life in the buildings on the site.
It is very evocative to be in the dormatory which has direct enrty to the church for the 7 daily services. The trade building give a good idea of life for the monks and the setting is fantasic.
There is also a good shop with some different books and products.

1  Thank tally2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Direction_Abbaye, Responsable relations clients at Abbaye de Fontenay, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2018

Dear visitor, thank you for your visit and comment. Fontenay unique features are that it is the first completed abbey and at the same time the most preserved one. most if not all of the other 600 or 700 abbeys have been partially or totally destroyed. This is why it is easier at Fontenay to understand how the monks actually lived. This year, we celebrate the 900th anniversary of the foudation of the abbey, please look at our site for various events.

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Reviewed 3 March 2018

We visited with our 13 month old son. You enter and exit through the gift shop where you pay for entrance. We did a self guided tour and were provided with a good brochure telling us about each of the buildings we were entering. Founded in the 1100's and built in the Romanesque style it is one of the oldest and Cistercian abbeys in Europe that is still in tact. We enjoyed wandering in and out of the buildings especially the dormitories and the cloisters. This was definitely worth the drive from Troyes to go and visit.

Thank Gerri H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Direction_Abbaye, Responsable relations clients at Abbaye de Fontenay, responded to this reviewResponded 23 April 2018

Dear visitor from Massachussets, thank you for your visit, pictures and comment. Glad you enjoyed your drive from Troyes to visit Fontenay. This year we celebrate the 900th anniversary of the foundation of the abbey, and we are always happy to share this unique site with visitors from all over the world.

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Reviewed 22 December 2017

I would highly recommend stopping in to the Abbey for a few hours. It is will worth the price of admission. Not only is the space well-preserved and full of interesting historical details, it is peaceful and really calming. Stopping here was a very easy detour on our drive from Paris to Dijon and even the drive through the small villages nearby was picturesque. The lush vegetation surrounding this space is also awe-inspiring. Don't let the weather stop you - it was rainy when we went but your tour can mostly be indoors and walking the grounds in light rain was actually very nice.

Thank Tyler H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 1 December 2017

We visited the Abbey just after it opened. At least in late November this meant we had the abbey all for us alone (even when we left nobody else seemed to be there). This is really a pity as the church is really impressive in early sunshine with a very nice play of light and shade. Besides the church you can see the cloister and the main rooms of the monastery.

Thank Matthias W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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