900 years of history
The Abbey of Reigny
History of the Abbey of Reigny
Theabbey of Reigny, located in the town of Vermenton, in Burgundy, was founded in 1128 by the abbot Etienne de Toucy, a monk of Clairvaux and under the authority of Saint Bernard. Located in an exceptional setting on the banks of the Cure, land of the Counts of Auxerre and Nevers, the abbey, placed under the protection of Pope Eugene III in 1147, was very powerful and prosperous in the Middle Ages, welcoming up to 300 monks.
In 1370 the king of France, Charles V, placed the abbey under his protection and a century later in 1493 Charles VIII made it a Royal Foundation. Unfortunately, the Hundred Years’ War, the Huguenots and the French Revolution took their toll on the beautiful building, which has nevertheless kept some very interesting remains of its prestigious past: the exceptional 14th century Cistercian refectory (there are only three examples left in France) with its elegant double-bayed nave which has kept its original polychromy, the hall and the monks’ dormitory, whose living rooms and dining room have been rearranged by the monks in the XVIIIth century and magnificently furnished, the XVIIIth century portal, an astonishing XVIIth century dovecote with 3500 terracotta bolts and its two revolving ladders.
The foundations of the demolished buildings can still be seen thanks to the excavations that have uncovered the foundations of the second abbey church built under the direction of the architect Claude Nicolas Ledoux in 1763, thus giving the abbey its original size.
A first abbey church, of which only a few vestiges remain, was built from 1134.
Finally, the entire Cistercian hydraulic network has been preserved with, uniquely, the channelling of a spring that brings water into the park from downstream to upstream and in the opposite direction to the Cure.
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The abbey in pictures
Access road to the Abbey of Reigny
Follow the road to the gate