Fontenay Abbey

L’abbaye de Fontenay (en)

Founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard, Fontenay Abbey is one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries in France. The Roman architecture confers a remarkable coherency onto this collection of conventional buildings. These have remained intact over more than eight centuries of history.

According to Saint Bernard’s rigorous plans, the visitor successively encounters the church, the dormitory, the cloister, the council room, the heating room, the lodging for the abbots and the forge. Transformed into a paper mill during the French Revolution, Fontenay Abbey was bought in 1820 by Elie de Montgolfier, a descendant of the first aeronauts. The papermaking plant operated until 1906, when Edouard Aynard, son-in-law of Raymond de Montgolfier, acquired Fontenay. From 1906 to 1913, massive clearing work was undertaken to free the Abbey of the unwanted structures from the papermaking period. Today, the same family maintains and preserves the site.

Private property, the Abbey of Fontenay has been classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1981. The monument is located in a small valley and entirely preserved. The site welcomes about 100 000 visitors every year. The French Garden and the landscaped gardens complete the visit with its centenary trees and its trout pond. The Fontenay gardens have been refurbished by the English landscape architect Peter Holmes. Some new plantations make this two hectares park prettier,and it has been classified “Jardin remarquable” (Remarkable garden) by the Minister of Culture.

Opening times HERE

Admission :

Visit : 10€, guided visit : 12.50€ / under 26 years old : 7€, guided visit : 7.90€ / Group : 8.80€

Phone : +33(0)3 80 92 15 00

Copyright : Abbaye de Fontenay

tourisme semur

Discover the medieval city of Semur in Auxois, its municipal museum, its history and its exceptional architecture. Discover its high city and its suburbs by the river Armançon. Dynamic city, Ideally situated between Paris and Lyon in Auxois Bourgogne. In 7 km of the heat exchanger of the highway A6 and in 20 km of the TGV station of Montbard.


2 Place Gaveau
21140 Semur-en-Auxois
03 80 97 05 96

tourisme semur

Copyright : Office de tourisme : JF-salbreux , SF- ferreira, S-Loser, Christophe Gilles , pixabay , fotolia.
OT : Beaune, Dijon, Vezelay, Avallon, Cluny, Autun ,
Site : Alesia, Château Bussy Rabutin et Epoisses, Jardin potager de Lantilly , Abbaye de Fontenay , Bibracte, Palais abbatial Moutier Saint Jean, liste non exhaustive...