(12th - 17th centuries)
The abbey church of Pontigny is one of the most beautiful examples of Cistercian churches to be seen in France. Rarely have the nobility, purity and élan of Cistercian architecture reached such perfection. The second daughter of Cîteaux, Pontigny Abbey was founded in 1114 on the banks of the Serein, on the borders of Burgundy and Champagne, but the present abbey church was built in two stages between 1137 and 1150. Its style is exactly at the transition between Romanesque and Gothic. The porch of the facade is vaulted. The side aisles and the transept's crossing are also vaulted, as should have been the nave, which was in fact the first ribbed vault built in Burgundy
At the end of the 12th century, the original flat chevet was destroyed and replaced by the present elegant Gothic choir. It quickly gained great influence and founded nineteen direct "daughter abbeys", which in turn created forty-five others. In the 12th and 13th centuries, Pontigny welcomed three English archbishops in exile: Thomas Becket, Stephen Langton and Edmund of Abingdon and continues to attract many English pilgrims. Park of about ten hectares shared by a reach including an alley of hornbeams, an alley of lime trees leading to the abbey, a lawn planted with three hundred-year-old trees, two monolithic basins and a natural lawn.