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The history of Fontenay in 24 dates...

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1098

Foundation of the Abbey of Cîteaux.

1118

Foundation of the Abbey of Fontenay by Saint Bernard in a valley a few miles from Montbard (Burgundy).

1130

Monks choose the final location of Fontenay, at the crossing of two valleys.

1139

Ebrard, Bishop of Norwich, lives in Fontenay to escape persecution he suffered in England. His fortune partly finances the construction of the Abbey Church.

1147

Consecration of the Abbey Church by Pope Eugene III.

1259

Saint Louis frees Fontenay of any tax.

1269

Fontenay becomes a royal Abbey.

1359

Looting of Fontenay by the armies of Edward III, King of England.

1547

Establishment of the “Commende” system: the abbot is appointed by the King rather than elected by the monks.

1745

Demolition of the Refectory.

1789

French revolution.

1790

The last eight monks leave the Abbey.

1791

Sale of Fontenay by the revolutionaries. The Abbey is turned into a paper mill by its purchaser, Mr. Hugot.

1820

Elie de Montgolfier, related to the inventors of hot air balloon, purchases Fontenay and develops the paper factory.

1838

The scientist Marc Seguin (inventor of suspended bridges) lives in Fontenay and conducts his research there.

1852

The Abbey of Fontenay is recognized a French Historical Landmark.

1903

Extension of the paper factory by the Montgolfier family.

1906

Edouard Aynard, Lyons banker and in-law of Montgolfier, buys Fontenay. He decides to remove all industrial buildings to revive Fontenay in all its purity and medieval state. It is a major restoration until 1911.

1960

Pierre and Hubert Aynard restore the Dormitory.

1981

The Abbey of Fontenay is listed as World Heritage Monument by Unesco.

1989

The abbey welcomes more than 100,000 visitors.

1995

Restoration of the Church apse chapels.

1997

850th anniversary of the founding of Fontenay.

1998

9th centenary of the foundation of Cîteaux.

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