Fontenay Abbey


Founded in 1118 by St. Bernard, the Abbey of Fontenay is one of the oldest Cistercian monasteries in France. The exceptional Romanesque architecture is extremely well preserved. Following a plan set out by St. Bernard, the visitor follows a journey through the church, the dormitory, the cloisters, the chapter house, the scriptorium, the warming room and finally to the forge. Transformed into a paper mill in the French Revolution, the Abbey of Fontenay was bought in 1820 by Elie de Montgolfier, a descendant of the first aeronauts. The manufacture of paper continued until 1906, when Edward Aynard, son of Raymond de Montgolfier, acquired Fontenay. From 1906 to 1913, extensive work was carried out to clean up the Abbey. Today, the same family owns it, and continue its maintenance and conservation. Fontenay Abbey was classified a « World Heritage » site by UNESCO in 1981.

Until March 31st 2022, the Fontenay Abbey is open every day from 10 am to 12 pm and from 2 pm to 5 pm only for free visits or as part of a private guided tour (by reservation).

From April 1st to November 11th 2022, the abbey is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, for free visit or guided tour (from April 2nd). Regular guided tours: 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1.45 pm, 2.45 pm, 4 pm and 5 pm.

Guided tours for groups by reservation.

Opening times and prices

Abbaye de Fontenay
21500 Marmagne

Tél. 03 80 92 15 00