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The abbey of Fontenay is a group of several abbey buildings covering an area of 5.77 hectares founded in 1118 in the commune of Marmagne (Côte-d'Or) under the impulse of Saint-Bernard de Clairvaux. It is in 1130 that the abbey finds its definitive location. The works began on this date and ended in 1147. This abbey, which is destined for the ascetic life of the Cistercian monks, is composed of a church, a cloister, a refectory, a forge, a bakery, a chapel for the Foreigners as well as a confinement (an isolated house sometimes regarded as a prison sometimes as a place of preservation of precious goods). The monks there once led an austere life, devoted to manual labor and piety. It is the oldest Cistercian abbey best preserved. The estate has been owned by the Aynard family since 1906, but much of the building is open to the public throughout the year.
The Abbey of Fontenay is one of the 69 abbey-girls built under the direction of Saint-Bernard de Clairvaux. The first abbey of Fontenay is Geoffrey de la Roche-Lapointe, near Saint Bernard. In 1259, the King of France, Saint Louis declared the abbey exempt from all fiscal law. In 1269, the monastery was consecrated Royal Abbey. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, more than 300 people lived in the buildings of the estate. The abbey was in the process of decline from the 14th century following looting by the English. After restoration, it was again sacked in 1557 during the Wars of Religion. The regime of Commende puts an end to the apogee of the abbey. Little by little, the monks were unable to maintain the place. In 1745, the porch, the kitchens and the refectory were demolished. In 1791, after the French Revolution, the abbey was sold and transformed into stationery by Claude Hugot. The brothers Montgolfier bought it in 1820 to build several industrial buildings. It was declared a Historic Monument in 1862 and restored from 1906 to 1911 after Edouard Aynard bought it. The Abbey of Fontenay is classified World Heritage of Unesco in 1981.
What is there to see in the Abbey of Fontenay?
It is a unique architecture of 900 years old and full of history that awaits visitors to take them on a journey back in time. It is a majestic, deeply spiritual place, built in the middle of a calm and verdant landscape. The site invites you to hike through the forest of beech and ash trees.
The Hospices of Beaune, Museum of the Hôtel-Dieu
A hotel-Dieu or Hostel Dieu (ancient spelling) is a hospital administered by the church. This type of old hospice housed and take care of orphans, pilgrims and the needy. It mainly gathered people in need. The Hospices of Beaune, of flamboyant Gothic architecture, was built from 1443 to 1457 in Beaune in the Côte-d'Or. It is one of the most beautiful and most remarkable hospitable foundations. It is currently a hospital and a Museum of Burgundy and medieval medicine in the Christian West. The site is home to an exceptional wine estate of about 60 hectares devoted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More than 80% of the estate's vintage and vintage wines are auctioned at the prestigious Christie's to operate the property. It is the world's most famous wine charity sale.
What to see in the Hospices de Beaune?
The Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a masterpiece of architecture. It was built at the initiative of Nicolas Rolin, Chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy and his wife Guigone de Salins. It is a couple known for his works of charity and patronage. Nicolas Rolin and his wife finance this hospital for the poor thanks to an annual rent from the salt works and own resources of the establishment from the vineyard. All of the buildings are unbelievably preserved today and it houses a collection of more than 5,000 valuables, tapestries and period furniture. A visit to these places is therefore a good opportunity to discover among other things the polypty of the Last Judgment of Rogier van de Weyden, without forgetting the visit of the vineyard.
The Castle of La Rochepot
Presentation and History
The castle of La Rochepot is an emblematic heritage of Burgundy. It is built in the 13th century on the same site of the old castle of the lord of Montagu Alexander of Burgundy (1170 - 1205), the old castle being set in fire in the 12th century. This medieval building, built by the architect Charles Suisse, is perched on a rocky outcrop and is distinguished by its glazed tiles, so dear to Burgundy. It was the residence of the Lords Pot, knights of the Golden Fleece and advisers of the Dukes of Burgundy. It was Regnier Pot who acquired it in 1403 after his return from the crusades and passed it on to his heirs. In the 16th century, the marshal of France Anne de Montmorency adds it to his personal collection of more than 130 castles.
Cardinal of Retz Jean-François Paul de Gondi became the owner in the XVIIth century before being transferred to the first president of the Parliament of Burgundy Pierre Legoux de la Berchère. Declared a national property during the French Revolution, the castle passed from hand to hand before becoming the property of Sadi Carnot (1865-1948), the son of the president, who spent 25 years restoring the ruin. The castle is sold by the heirs of the Carnot family in 2016.
Why visiting the Castle of Rochepot?
It is an exceptional building which contains a part of the history of France and Burgundy in particular. Visitors will discover the chapel dating from the 12th century, the guards’ room, the huge kitchen, the dining room, the walkway and the rooms decorated with murals and adorned with furniture of eras. The outside of the estate attracts by its rural landscape of 28 hectares.
How to get from Beaune to CDG airport by car
The journey from Beaune to CDG airport is 3hours 21. Once you leave Beaune, you will have to take the D974. After a few kilometers, the car will arrive at the first exit in the direction of Pairs, Lyon, Dijon, etc. By taking the A6 (A6A and A6B), you will have to continue on E15 / E50 / Autoroute du Soleil. Near Paris, after driving for 3 hours, you will have to continue on the A3. The A3 motorway will allow you to reach the airport in the same way as Lille and Bobigny. Take the D902A / Deviation of Roissy-En-France to reach the commune. The airport is less than 5 minutes away.