January 2, 2016

2175-2176 FRANCE (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) - Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (UNESCO WHS)

2175 Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (1)

The Abbey of Fontenay, located in the commune of Marmagne, near Montbard, was founded by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118, and built in the Romanesque style. It is one of the oldest and most complete Cistercian abbeys in Europe, and with its church, cloister, refectory, sleeping quarters, bakery and ironworks, is an excellent illustration of the ideal of self-sufficiency as practised by the earliest communities of Cistercian monks.

2176 Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay (2)

The monks moved to Fontenay Abbey in 1130, and in 1200 it was able to serve 300 monks. In 1259, the King Louis IX exempted it from taxes, and ten years later it became a royal abbey. In 1359, it was pillaged by the armies of King Edward III of England. It suffered further damage during the Wars of Religion, and.with the beginning of the French Revolution in 1789 the monks successively left the abbey. In 1906 Edouard Aynard bought the abbey and commenced its restoration which was complete by 1911.

All Cistercians churches have the same model and are extremely similar to one another. The architecture is simple, conservative, utilitarian and self-sufficient, a bridge between Romanesque and Gothic architectures. The churches consist of prominent Romanesque architecture features (symmetrical plan, massive quality, thick walls, sturdy piers, groin vaults, round arches and tall central nave), but on the other hand Gothic architecture was promoted by Cistercians.

About the stamps
On the postcard 2175
The stamp is part of the definitive series depicting Marianne, issued on  July 16, 2014, about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 2176
The first stamp is part of the series Rugby World Cup - New Zealand 2011, designed by Stéphane Humbert-Basset after photos by Martignac, and issued on July 11, 2011:
• Melee Output
• Attack
• Auckland
• National Park Arthur's Pass - It's on the postcard 2175

The second stamp is part of the definitive series depicting Marianne, issued on  July 16, 2014, about which I wrote here.

Abbey of Fontenay - Wikipedia
Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay - UNESCO official website

Sender 2175-2176: Ella
Sent from Valence (Rhône-Alpes / France), on 23.12.2015
Photo 2175-2176: Frederic Dupin

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