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pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

san francisco
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pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

I'm visiting France in November, and I have only one day to visit a Cistertian abbey. Of the two, Pontigny and Fontenay, which would you think is the best choice? I am considering each abbey's degree of commercialization and nature of surrounding countrysides and towns? Thanks very much for a response.

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Chicago, Illinois
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1. Re: pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

I haven't been to the first one but we very much enjoyed our visit to Fontenay Abbey and didn't feel it was commercialized. you can see our pictures on www.janettravels.wordpress.com

Paris, France
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2. Re: pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

One thing you don't mention is where you'll be coming from since neither of these places is well served by public transport. Will you have a car?

I answered a question a few weeks ago about how to get to Pontigny Abbey by bus from Auxerre and here is a link to that thread:

tripadvisor.com/…43600317

I almost visited Pontigny abbey last week so I spent a few hours researching it and while it does look interesting I think there is more to see at Fontenay. I've never been to Fontenay myself but I've seen photos and done a bit of research on it and it would seem to make for a better visit.

Here are some websites for both places if you weren't aware of them:

http://abbayedepontigny.eu/

pontignytourisme.free.fr/pontigny-abbaye.htm

http://pontignytourisme.free.fr/

www.abbayedefontenay.com/abbayedefontenay.htm

bourgogne-tourisme.com/pages/fr/menu-princip…

bourgogne-tourisme.com/transportscollectifs_…

If you are relying on public transport I would imagine it is easier to get to Fontenay since the nearby town of Montbard is served by a rail line and the abbey is only 5-6 kilometers from the train station. You could take a taxi from the train station or you can rent a bike from the tourist office just in front of the train station. Here is the Montbard tourist office website:

http://www.ot-montbard.fr/#

Paris, France
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3. Re: pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

To answer the other part of your question about the surrounding towns and countryside, they are both better near Fontenay. Near to Fontenay are three lovely châteaux: Bussy-Rabutin, Ancy-le-France and Tanlay. The charming medieval towns of Noyer-sur-Serein and Semur-en-Auxois are not far off either. Of course you'd need a car to see these places but if you will have a car then you can look at a report I wrote about spending a weekend exploring the towns and countryside in that area and the report has lots of photos and descriptions of the places I visited: http://tinyurl.com/6wtm6u5

san francisco
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4. Re: pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

Thank you very much. Your response does help me in making my decision. We will be coming from Paris on public transportation, and, all things considered, Fontenay looks like the best choice.

Paris, France
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5. Re: pontigny abbey and fontenay abbey

I hope you have looked at the train schedule for Paris to Montbard in November. Daylight hours are short and unless you take the 6:53AM train it will take over 2 hours to get from Paris to Montbard. The 6:53 train takes 1 hour 4 minutes and the 7:38 train takes 2 hours 14 minutes. I wouldn't take a later train than either of these two.

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