Discover the biggest Cistercian church in the world.
Close to our charming bed and breakfast in Burgundy, is the former abbey of Pontigny one of the oldest sites of the Cistercian order. Second foundation of the Cistercian monastery of Citeaux, it was established in 1114 on the borders of the old diocese of Sens, Auxerre and Langres, between Champagne and Burgundy. It was founded by Hugues de Macon, Saint Bernard companion. The large church, still intact today is 120 meters long.
It used to be said that on the old bridge that crosses the River Serein on the edge of the village of Pontigny, three bishops, three counts and an abbot could sit down to dine and all be on their own territory. Here was a meeting of ecclesiastical and political domains that today have faded from memory, as one crosses the bridge unaware of any borders (there is though, a perfect spot at the bridge where the party could dine!). Close to the bridge, an avenue of trees leads past surviving monastics buildings to the huge church of the old Cistercian Abbaye de Pontigny, founded in 1114.
The lower part of the pale, heavy structure is Romanesque and austere, the upper part early Gothic, with a single low and uneven octagonal tower on one corner. The abbey provided refuge to Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, during his exile in 1164 (two years later, back in Canterbury, Becket was murdered).
The association « Friends of Pontigny » work for the preservation of this remarkable site and organizes all year musical or artistic events in this magical place.
Feel free to contact our bed and breakfast for accommodation when visiting Pontigny.Share