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Fontenay Abbey: Night Stairs

Night Stairs

Stairs leading from the abbey church to the monks' dormitory, enabling the monks to come to the church for midnight services without having to go out in the cold. Fontenay Abbey was founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118. The abbey church, built from 1139 to 1147, is the oldest Cistercian church in France and one of the finest examples of Cistercian Romanesque architecture. The monastic complex was completed by 1200.