From its origins in Burgundy in 1098, the Cistercian Order grew rapidly throughout the European continent, bringing together some 750 abbeys and 1,000 monasteries, with communities of both monks and nuns.
Founded nine centuries ago by Robert de Molesme, the “New Monastery” of Cîteaux is at the origins of the Cistercian order. It follows the principles of the Rule of Saint Benedict: pray far from the world and live off the work of one’s hands.
Council of Europe values
The “European Charter of Cistercian Abbeys and Sites” Association and its members work to preserve the tangible and intangible Cistercian heritage. Their actions contribute to the preservation of the historical heritage, both buildings and the surrounding environment, regardless of their condition. They also aim at promoting the role of the Cistercians in European history, especially in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, to a wider audience. They seek to highlight the unique identity of Cistercian monasticism, in its intellectual and spiritual dimensions, technical ingenuity and remarkable organisational, building and development skills.
The European Route of Cistercian Abbeys is certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 2010.