Lorinda Tooley

Lorinda Tooley

Published: 19 Sep 2023

Source: Wikipedia.org

Citeaux Abbey is a fascinating landmark that holds a rich history and is known for its significance in the world of monasticism. Located in the scenic countryside of Burgundy, France, Citeaux Abbey has captured the attention of visitors from all around the globe. While there are numerous well-known facts about this iconic abbey, there are also some surprising and lesser-known aspects that make it even more intriguing. From its humble beginnings to its influential impact on the Cistercian Order, Citeaux Abbey is a treasure trove of fascinating details. In this article, we will explore nine surprising facts about Citeaux Abbey that will shed light on its historical significance and architectural grandeur. So, let’s dive in and unravel the hidden gems of Citeaux Abbey.

Table of Contents

The Abbey Was Established by a Group of Monks

Citeaux Abbey was founded by a group of monks led by Saint Robert of Molesme. Seeking a return to a simpler and more contemplative way of life, they left Molesme Abbey to form their own community. This marked the beginning of the Cistercian order, known for its commitment to poverty, manual labor, and strict observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict.

The Abbey’s Architecture Reflects its Principles

Citeaux Abbey’s architectural style is characterized by simplicity and austerity, reflecting the Cistercian ideals of humility and detachment from worldly possessions. The abbey’s design inspired many other religious buildings across Europe, and it played a significant role in the development of Gothic architecture.

Citeaux Abbey Was the Birthplace of the Cistercian Order

Citeaux Abbey served as the birthplace and mother house of the Cistercian order. From here, numerous daughter abbeys were established throughout Europe, each adhering to the same principles and ideals. The Cistercian order grew rapidly, becoming one of the most influential monastic movements of the medieval period.

The Abbey’s Library is a Treasure Trove of Knowledge

Citeaux Abbey boasts a remarkable library that houses a vast collection of manuscripts and books dating back to the medieval era. The library played a crucial role in preserving and disseminating knowledge during a time when books were rare and valuable.

Citeaux Abbey Is Home to World-Famous Vineyards

Adjacent to the abbey, you’ll find vineyards that have been cultivated for centuries by the Cistercian monks. These vineyards produce exceptional wines, including the well-known Clos de Vougeot, which has gained international recognition for its quality.

The Abbey Has Witnessed Historical Events

Over its long history, Citeaux Abbey has been a witness to several significant events. It survived the tumultuous French Revolution and served as a refuge for many during that time. It has also seen numerous renovations and expansions, with each chapter adding to its rich legacy.

The Abbey Embraces Simplicity and Tranquility

Citeaux Abbey remains a place of simplicity and tranquility, offering a peaceful environment for spiritual reflection and meditation. Visitors can explore the abbey’s serene gardens, attend liturgical services, and immerse themselves in the timeless traditions of the Cistercian order.

Citeaux Abbey Is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

In recognition of its cultural and historical significance, Citeaux Abbey was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in This prestigious status ensures the preservation and protection of the abbey for future generations.

The Abbey Continues to Inspire

Even after centuries, Citeaux Abbey continues to inspire and captivate visitors from around the world. Its rich architectural heritage, cultural importance, and spiritual significance make it a must-visit destination for those seeking a deeper connection with history and faith.

In conclusion, Citeaux Abbey stands as a testament to the enduring power of faith, simplicity, and dedication. Its profound influence on architecture, spirituality, and the preservation of knowledge is truly remarkable. Whether you are an architecture enthusiast, a history buff, or a spiritual seeker, a visit to Citeaux Abbey will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression.


In conclusion, Citeaux Abbey is a fascinating landmark with a rich history and many surprising facts. From its role as the birthplace of the Cistercian Order to its connection to renowned figures such as Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, this abbey holds immense cultural and religious significance. The breathtaking architecture and serene surroundings make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and spiritual seekers alike.Whether you’re interested in medieval architecture, religious history, or simply enjoy exploring unique landmarks, Citeaux Abbey offers a truly remarkable experience. Its hidden secrets and surprising facts make it a destination worth adding to your travel list. So, pack your bags and embark on a journey to Citeaux Abbey, where the stories from the past come alive amidst the tranquil beauty of the French countryside.


Q: When was Citeaux Abbey founded?

A: Citeaux Abbey was founded in 1098 by a group of monks led by Robert of Molesme.

Q: What is the significance of Citeaux Abbey?

A: Citeaux Abbey is the birthplace of the Cistercian Order, a Monastic Order that played a major role in the religious and cultural development of medieval Europe.

Q: Can visitors explore the interior of Citeaux Abbey?

A: Unfortunately, the interior of Citeaux Abbey is not open to the public. However, visitors can explore the beautiful exterior and soak in the peaceful atmosphere of the surrounding grounds.

Q: Are there any guided tours available at Citeaux Abbey?

A: Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who want to learn more about the history and significance of Citeaux Abbey. These tours provide valuable insights into the abbey’s past and its role in shaping the Cistercian Order.

Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit Citeaux Abbey?

A: Yes, there is an entrance fee to visit Citeaux Abbey. The fee helps support the maintenance and preservation of this historic landmark.

Q: Are there any nearby attractions or sites to visit near Citeaux Abbey?

A: Yes, the Burgundy region in which Citeaux Abbey is located is known for its charming villages, beautiful vineyards, and historic sites. Visitors can explore nearby towns like Beaune and Dijon, famous for their architecture, museums, and local cuisine.