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
  • Listed or registered (CNMHS)
  • UNESCO World Heritage

On site


  • Specific theme activities
  • Conferences
  • Son et lumière


  • French
  • English
  • Shop
  • Pets accepted


  • Picnic area
  • Bar
  • Parking
  • Toilettes


Payment methods

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

Opening times

Open every day of the year

From 13 November 2023 to 29 March 2024: from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm for self-guided tours (no reservation required) or private guided tours (by reservation only).

From 30 March 2024 to 11 November 2024: 10am to 6pm for self-guided tours and regular guided tours (without prior booking).

Special opening conditions

Visits do not require prior booking.
Until 29 March 2024, Fontenay Abbey is open to the public from 10am to 12pm and from 2pm to 5pm. Private guided tours are available by prior arrangement.
From 30 March 2024 to 11 November 2024, open from 10am to 6pm and regular guided tours without prior booking at the following times: 10am, 11am, 12pm, 1.45pm, 2.45pm, 4pm and 5pm.
To be confirmed on our website

This provider also proposes