Filtering by Category: medieval

Abbeye de Fontenay

Added on by suzy baur.

The Abbeye of Fontenay, near Montbard Burgundy France, was founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, abbot and primary builder of the reformed Cistercian order, and it is considered to be one of the oldest Cistercian abbeys. Beautifully restored through the initiative of Edouard Aynard in the early 20th century and well maintained by the Aynard family to this day, it became a Unesco World Heritage Site 1981.

Fontenay is one of the most complete abbeys in Europe and my absolute favorite abbey to visit. The interior of the church wonderfully reflects the aesthetic as well as spirit of the Cistercian order. Devoid of any pomp, its magnificence is characterized through simple, pointed arches and beautiful latticed glass windows. It is the light in particular shining through that lets you experience the spirituality of this glorious space. Simplicity and quietness is also featured throughout the complex, most significanlty in the cloister. In the capitals for instance there are no decorative motifs - such as figurines or images so poplar with the Benedictines - only floral themes like leaves and flower buds. This abbey truly is an inspiring site. 

To learn more, visit Abbeye de Fontenay

St. George's Abbey

Added on by suzy baur.

I always enjoy exploring medieval churches as well as abbeys. St. George's Abbey in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland, is one of my favorite places to visit. 

As a former Benedict monastery founded in 970, it has a rich history to look back on. The banquet hall, containing the frescos commissioned by David von Winkelsheim (dating from around 1515) are a must-see and are considered to be the earliest proof of Renaissance influence in northern Switzerland. The cloisters are equally note-worthy. In 1525 the abbey was secularized. In 1927 the property underwent an extensive restoration and was eventually turned into a museum.  St. George's abbey is a wonderful place in order to immerse yourself into the monastic life of the Late Middle Ages. 

To learn more, visit Kloster St. Georgen