Abbaye de Fontenay

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.


  • Abbey
  • cloister
  • Monastry
  • Religious heritage
  • Cistercian
  • Romanesque

Quality labels

  • Abbayes et sites cisterciens d'Europe
  • Accueil Vélo
  • Epiques Epoques
  • Patrimoine Mondial de l'UNESCO
  • Symboles de France
  • UNESCO World Heritage

On site


  • Specific theme activities
  • Specialist conferences
  • Conferences
  • Son et lumière


  • French
  • German
  • English
  • Shop


  • Picnic area
  • Bar
  • Parking
  • Toilettes


Type Min. Max.
Child rate 8,50€
Base rate - full rate adult 11,50€

Payment methods

  • American Express
  • Credit card
  • Cheques and postal orders
  • Travellers cheques
  • Holiday vouchers
  • Cash
  • Bank transfers
  • Visa

Opening times

Open every day of the year

From 1 April 2023 to 12 November 2024: from 10 am to 6 pm, open to the public and also on regular guided tours (without reservation).

From 13 November 2023 to 31 March 2024: from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm for self-guided tours (without reservation) or for private guided tours (by reservation only).

Special opening conditions

The opening conditions of the Fontenay Abbey take into account the current health measures. Our current opening times are subject to change.
Visits do not require prior reservation.
Until 31 March 2023, Fontenay Abbey can be visited freely from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm. Private guided tours are available upon reservation.
From April 1, 20223 to November 11, 2023, the Abbey is open from 10am to 6pm and regular guided tours are available without reservation at the following times: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1:45pm, 2:45pm, 4pm and 5pm (except on April 1).
To be confirmed on our website

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