The European Route of Cistercian abbeys

Nine centuries ago, Robert de Molesme founded the "New Monastery" of Cîteaux, following the principles of the Rule of Saint Benedict: pray far from the world and live on the work of his hands. Coming from Burgundy in 1098, the Cistercian Order grew rapidly throughout the European continent, bringing together some 750 abbeys of men and 1 000 monasteries of nuns.


The Cistercian Order has a rich history continues today, in the heart of the evolution of the Roman Church and the European states. The "white monks" are revealed as exemplary constructors participating in the development of rural areas, controlling the hydraulic and agricultural techniques most advanced - through their barns, cellars, mills, foundries - and contributing since the Middle Age at the development of art, knowledge and understanding in Europe.

The European Route of Cistercian abbeys proposes to give meaning to the Cistercian heritage that our age has inherited, through rural tourism of discovery and quality, educational and cultural events, use of new digital tools adapted to cultural heritage conservation and promotion.

Cultural and touristic Association created in 1993, the European Charter of Cistercian abbeys and sites unites nearly 200 sites in 11 European countries, opened to the public, managed by local and national governments, privates, cultural associations. Combining a scientific committee composed of researchers, historians and archaeologists, the Charter provides ongoing training and transmission of the Cistercian culture through Europe.