The “Abbaye de Citeaux” is a magnificent Abbey where you can learn a lot about Cistercian culture of the past. A group of monks still live there, praying and working making a delicious cheese.
A little bit of history.
In 1048, 21 monks from the Abbaye de Molesnes moved to the Forêt de Citeau with the aim of adopting a more monastic way of life: one of modesty and working of the land. In 1112, the Order grew rapidly under the influence of Bernard de Fontaine who was also the founder of the “Abbaye de Clairvaux”.
The Cistercian Order developed rapidly and acquired lots of vineyards. The first Dukes of Burgundy were buried there. The economic activity and the heavy consumption of wine (!!) lead the community to grow and further develop the Clos Vougeot Vineyards.
The site was closed during the French Revolution and in the 19th century used as a theatre, a sugar farm and a phalastery. In 1895 the abbey was bought back and repopulated by Trappist monks.
Nowadays the Abbey is the headquarters of a hundred other abbeys around the world that boast over 5000 monks.
Each abbey has to make its own living: In Citeaux the monks own 75 cows and all of their milk is used to make their famous Citeaux cheese, which is similar to reblochon.
The Abbey has been opened to visitors for over 20 years. We advise you to book your visit in advance and to check the opening hours.