Fontenay Abbey is a monastery Marmagne French (Côte-d'Or department) near Tonnerre, about 45 km from Auxerre. It is one of the most iconic of all monasteries of Cistercian architecture. Bernard of Clairvaux and monks of his affiliation funded Clairvaux Abbey and its construction, and it is very well preserved, the model for the important Cistercian expansion in Europe in the next two centuries. The oldest Cistercian foundation preserved in France offers insight into the Cistercian way of life. It was founded in 1118 by St. Bernard. In the heart of the forest this retreat offered peace sought by the order. Local aristocrats offered their protection and it was only in the Revolution that it temporarily became a paper mill. In 1906 it was restored and now you can visit the complex abbey. Highlights are the church, the cloister, the apartments of the abbot, the loft, the bedroom, the scriptorium and the magnificent chapter hall. The church was built in 1127-1150 as cruciform and its proportions typical of church Cistercian architecture. Measuring 66 meters in length over 8 meters wide, the cruise is 19 meters. The cloister square, lower than the nave was constructed almost simultaneously to the church. The chapter house is square and the ribbed vault is semicircular, with ribs that are born in small central columns and brackets distributed by the side walls. This classic dome in the Cistercian styles repeats in other rooms and is one of the characteristics of these monasteries. Light from the cloister enters through the door and the two open arches, and windows on the opposite side on the wall making the room light. An unmissable corner without doubt!