Fontenay Abbey

21500 Montbard, France

Founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Fontenay is the oldest preserved Cistercian abbey in the world—and one of the first French monuments to earn UNESCO World Heritage status. As lovely an abbey as you’ll find in France, it’s widely admired for its graceful Romanesque architecture, from its pointed arches to its double columns and lanceolate capitals. The grounds are equally delightful, complete with manicured gardens and gravel paths that border woods and a stream. Take a self-guided audio tour to wander the main buildings at your leisure and learn more about the Cistercian monks who once lived on the property.

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