Accommodations in Marmagne near Abbaye de Fontenay (Marmagne, France)
Abbaye de Fontenay (Marmagne, France)
This Cistercian monastery was founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118. It prospered and grew wealthy, being designated a Royal Abbey by St Louis. Its fortunes began to decline after suffering sackings during the Hundred Years War and the Wars of Religion. By the time of the French Revolution there were no monks left but the buildings survived, only the refectory having been destroyed earlier in the century. It was turned into a paper mill and continued as such until its purchase by the Aynard family in 1905, who set about its restoration. The restored ensemble is one of the oldest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in Europe and led to its designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The buildings comprise the church, cloisters, monks’™ dormitory, abbot’™s lodgings, chapter house, infirmary, bakery and forge. The church and cloister are classic examples of romanesque architecture. The church is especially striking, being built in the form of a Greek cross and with deep recesses ordered by St Bernard to avoid distractions. Also noteworthy are the vaulted chapter house, and the 15th century chestnut beams in the roof of the dormitory. Visits are guided and last about 1 hour. Themed visits (on architecture, for example) are also offered on set dates and places for these have to be booked in advance. The website has opening hours and acess details.
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Telephone: +33(3)80921500 | Fax: +33(3)80927688 | Official hotel site