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Do monks still live in Fontenay?
Is there a religious presence?

There are no longer monks at Fontenay since the French Revolution.
Nowadays there is no continuous religious presence. However, Fontenay remains a much inspired place, where each can reflect or pray at his/her convenience. a Catholic Mass is celebrated yearly around September the 21st for the anniversary of the consecration of Fontenay in 1147.

Why is Fontenay a private property?

Fontenay is private property since the French Revolution because the state, which had confiscated the property from the monks, sold Fontenay to a private individual. This is what has preserved Fontenay from revolutionary destruction.
Fontenay has been owned since 1820 by the Montgolfier-Aynard family. For the past 200 years and still today, the family has spent its time and resources for the restoration, maintenance and public opening of the Abbey.

Does the Abbey receive public grants or subsidies?

No, contrary to popular belief, the owners of Fontenay do not receive any public grants or subsidies (form the State, or from the World Heritage organization). Only a few major restoration works are sometimes subsidized.
Instead, taxes and various public contributions represent on average 40 % of the entrance fee.

How expensive is the maintenance of Fontenay?

Maintenance of Fontenay is very expensive. The Abbey employs between 3 and 5 people, depending on the season, just for maintenance and garden care. Specialized external companies are also involved.
Roofs cover an area of about 20,000 m², which means about 1.5 million tiles!
Added to this is the maintenance, throughout the year, of more than 500 acres of gardens and valley which form the environment of the Abbey.

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