jeudi 20 octobre 2011



Cistercian Europe Route Planner 


Spirit of the Site, Heritage, Catering

A preview, thanks to its author Bernard Peugniez.... the book cover and the first three extracts of this exceptional work which is soon to appear on the shelves. We thank him whole-heartedly for this moving gift, which is the fruit of several decades of passionate exploration!  

Back Cover:

About the Author

Bernard PEUGNIEZ was born in 1947. Former director of a medical and social association,
counsellor to the president of the European Charter of Cistercian abbeys and sites, he has published several works including the Route Planner of French Cistercian Abbeys (1994) and the Cistercian Route Planner (France, Belgium, Switzerland and Luxembourg), both now out of print.

This new work is a reference guide for all the Cistercian abbeys throughout Europe.

For each reference, you will find:

-useful contacts (address, telephone number, internet link)

-hotel and gastronomical resources linked to the site itself

-a brief history and description of the site (architecture, news, events...)

-and above all the author’s uniquely passionate and personal touch.

*A colossal work, the fruit of 40 years of pilgrimages and fidelity to the Cistercian order.

*Reference to 2200 sites, 115 detailed maps of regions or geographical locations.

*A superbly rich iconography

Introductory Page:


Poets have long celebrated these provinces for the magnificent castles adorning their riverbanks, as well as for their remarkable landscapes. With its mild climate and fertile soil, this most beautiful of regions has become the garden of France.

Well-known and lesser-known monuments blend into a woodland scenery rich in history. The churches and abbeys that constellate the soil of these lands exude authenticity and truth. The white and ochre chalk, schist and flat tiles have produced a varied architecture of exceptional quality. Whether it is Fontevraud, the city with five monasteries, or the tiniest of country churches, these artistic creations share elegance, balanced volumes and attention to detail. Airiness and soft light accompany the finishing touches, sparking an aesthetic emotion which is more than admiration – you bask in breathtaking beauty…!

The settings chosen for the construction of the Cistercian abbeys are striking, and even more so here than elsewhere. All of them were built in places where, to this very day, solitude and silence reign supreme. Water always plays a part. Ponds, streams and wells contribute to the charm of these venerable sites: Fontaine Daniel, La Boissière, Le Loroux, Bellebranche, Perseigne, Champagne, Trizay ... and also L'Épau or Clairmont, both remarkable for their harmonious settings, albeit unequally exploited. The former, more elegant, attracts more visitors: the latter, more austere and wild, is nonetheless beautiful and mysterious. As for Melleray, set amidst woods and ponds, sheltering behind high stone walls, its peaceful setting hides the secret of its monastic life; for there is indeed a secret there. May that secret be divulged to all those who have yet to find enlightenment, if they are indeed seeking it!   

Notice dedicated to Trizay in the Vendée:


St Vincent-Puymaufrais, 18 km north of Luçon

Private property.

Contact : Abbaye de Trizay F-85480 St-Vincent-Puymaufrais

Tel. 02 ++ ++ ++ ++/06 ++ ++ ++ ++

Open to the public on Heritage Days and by appointment. Workshops and courses available (sculpture, painting). Paintings, photographs and books on sale.

The Pontigny Line.

Trizay was founded in around 1137 by Hervé de Mareuil, on the banks of the river Lay. The site is that of a ford, hence the name S.M.Vado’. In 1156, the abbott John joined Isaac de l'Etoile to found what was to become Notre Dame des Châteliers on the Île de Ré. In 1568, the abbey, captured and set on fire, was never to rise from the ashes. In spite of the extent of its properties (barns, farm land, mills, rents and tithes, hotels) spread out over 18 villages, its income was insufficient and the indifference of the commendatory abbots prevented proper restoration, which did not begin until around 1765 but was never to be completed. When the revolution came, there were only 5 monks left to be dispersed.

Many of the buildings have vanished. Those that remain, with the exception of the convent wing and the church choir, have lost their original height. Nevertheless, what remains is still imposing. The abbey church, which has been used as a barn for a long time – the monks themselves had already installed a press, cellar and wheat granary! - is pierced by huge openings with pointed arches. Its facade is shored up by two buttresses surrounding the doorway, which has a pointed arch but no tympanum. The arms of the transept have disappeared, while the flat apse is supported by two buttresses. Unfortunately, it is crumbling and its bases are breaking away. All that remains of the monks’ wing are the external walls, where the chapter house, protected by a tile roof, can be made out. The living quarters occupy the south wing (the warming house, kitchen and refectory). The remains of a burial flagstone are visible there, as well as a column and a capital (13th century). The cloister has vanished, but the site of the well has been preserved.

Since 2008, Trizay’s situation has changed significantly. New owners have decided to restore the abbey to the inhabitants of the Vendée.  They have made it their main home and Patrick Cottencin has set up his workshop there. This sculptor and painter has more than one trick up his sleeve and is working to bring the abbey back to life and open it to the public so that it may unite all those who enter its precincts and strengthen them in body and mind. Cistercian spirituality has always combined two accomplices: shadow and light. If there are any dark corners in the grand design for bringing the site and its environment back to life, they are countered by light flooding in to give credence to the fragile equilibrium. There are, of course, Patrick’s oil paintings to illuminate the church and halls of the abode. Then there is Diane, passionate about art and history, to support the venture. Trizay will be saved thanks to their complicity, over which the only shadows that are cast are their own! One day you may come across their all terrain vehicle, a former British army ambulance, decorated with illuminated initials from monastic manuscripts. It would be difficult not to recognize this special vehicle which will soon set off to hunt down Cistercian abbeys lost in the vast wildernesses of Europe. It is, in a way, the indispensible ally for the next edition of the Route Planner.

Translation: lot of thanks to SUSAN KERSHAW.



 During the European Heritage Days at the abbey of Trizay ( France), we have for the first time presented the Project , "ONE PAINTING ONE STONE ".
Each oil painting you buy will be usefull to restore step by step the abbey. Because she shelters and inspires the artist, the artist dedicates his art to her.

This artist is Patrick Cottencin, born in 1953 in France, a native of the Poitou region, who lives and works in this abbey in the Vendee, the abbey of Our Lady of Trizay. He has been painting and sculpting for thirty years. In harmony with nature, by flowing water, he attunes to the seasons. No longer tied down to any particular gallery because he now has his own exhibition space, he chooses to make his art highly accessible. 

Oil paintings
20x20 cm: 170 euros
33x24cm: 280 euros
50x50cm: 800 euros
195x114cm:1900 euros
195x130cm:2100 euros
200x200cm: 3490 euros
240x200cm: 3900 euros
240x240cm: 4490 euros

We do believe that  miracles exist. Synergy and faith.
We all together can make this dream come true. 

1986 Salon des Indépendants, Grand Palais, Paris An order by the painter Joe Downing for his bust.

1987 Town Hall of the 4th “arrondissement” (district) of Paris – Abbaye Royale (Royal Abbey) of Moncel - Realisation of sculptures for the Comédie de Paris - Paris Country Club - Archived under the Direction of Cultural Affairs for the City of Paris, Bibliothèque Historique
- 2nd Grand Prize for Sculpture, Deauville International Competition -
1st departmental prize for the Grand Prix de France for Plastic Arts French Institute, Kérazan Manor..

1988-1989-1995 Acquisitions by the Élysée Protocole and the President of the French Republic.

1988-1989 Critical Figuration, Grand Palais, Paris

1988 Centre for International Encounters, 16th district of Paris – Medal for Contemporary Expression "St. John’s Chapel" – Sculpture Prize, Violet Salon, Town Hall of 4th district of Paris – Selected by “Critical Figuration” for the Gallery of Fine Arts in Bordeaux.

1989-1997 Airports of Paris Art Gallery.

1989 Salon of Salons, Versailles – Réalités Nouvelles (New Realities), Grand Palais, Paris – Trophy for the first International Festival of The Artistic Cabaret - Sculpture for the hospital of Myrose, in India.

1991 The Patrick Gaultier Gallery, Quimper.

1992 Enicole Art Space, with the support of the town of Brest.

1994 Palais des Congrès in Paris.

1995 The Robin-Léadouze Gallery, Paris and Cannes - Kérylos Villa, French Institute.

1996 Maisons-Alfort, Municipal Salon.

1997 Personal exhibition at Saint-Moritz in Switzerald – Personal exhibition at the Tonino Gallery at Campion d'Italia, Lucarno.

1998 Order for a public monument.

2000 Realisation and inauguration of “ Les Quatre Braves” (“The Four Brave Men”), a commemorative monument in Normandy, which was selected as one of the most beautiful monuments in Normandy by the editor Allan Sutton in 2005 for the collection Passé Simple, in his work La Manche, memorials of the  Second World War  -  
Guest of honour at the Maisons-Alfort Salon of painting and sculpture.

2001 à 2003 Personal exhibitions at various galleries.

2004 “Les Chevalets du Chapitre” (Chapter House Easels) Painting Prize -  
“Small Formats” at the Faubourg Saint-Honoré Gallery.

2005 Archived at the Saint-Maur Artothèque (art library) – Private exhibition at Saint-Martin de Ré – Invited to speak to a fourth form class in his capacity as an artist painter at the Val de Marne Departmental Festival for the Protection of Water.
2006 Prize for Painting from the 14th Gathering of Painters ad Sculptors of Champignol – Open Days at the Saint-Maur Workshop – Selected for the CRAC (art exhibition) at Champigny.

2007 Monumental canvasses for the Annual Sale at Saint-Maur Town Hall - Champigny Festival of Ephemeral Art - Exhibition “The Age of Discretion” at Saint-Maur Artothèque.

2008 “ L’Art au Carré” (Art Squared), thirty canvasses of which fifteen monumental ones at La Varenne Saint-Hilaire – Exhibition “Movements” with dance and music at the Art Workshops at the town of Saint Maur, consisting of around a hundred canvasses of which thirty are monumental formats – Personal exhibition of oil on canvas at the Air France Social Headquarters – Exhibition of painting at the European Heritage Days at the abbey of Notre-Dame de Trizay, in the Vendee – Open Day Workshops at Saint Maur – Painting Exhibition “Fantasia della Natura” (Nature’s Fantasy) at the Ormesson Cultural Space, consisting of around a hundred canvasses including thirty monumental ones, created for the occasion, in partnership with choreographies, a classical music concert and conferences.

2009 Exhibition of monumental and small formats for Heritage Days at the abbey of Notre-Dame de Trizay - TV coverage by Grégoire de Châtillon and Grégoire Fort of Vendee TV.
2010 Exhibition of painting and sculpture at the first Dîner en blanc vendéen (Dinner in White in the Vendee), at the Château of Terre Neuve, Fontenay le Comte - Personal homage to Joe Downing (photographs and sculptures presented to the public for the first time, in partnership with the great exhibition of the Unterlinden Museum in Colmar) - Photographic coverage by Gérard Simonnet and montage by Stéphane Morvan.

2011 First stages in a project called "Pupilles et Papilles" (Pupils of the Eye and Taste-buds) marrying painting and culinary tradition at the abbey of Notre-Dame de Trizay - First steps in a partnership with a (registered) art workshop called "Ainsi chante la terre" (song of the earth) combining Patrick Cottencin’s oil paintings with a passion for ancient and modern varieties of organic vegetables -  Personal exhibition of paintings for the second Dinner in White in the Vendee – An outing has been planned following Bernard Peugniez’s Route Planner of Cistercian Europe, sub-titled Esprit des lieux, Patrimoine et Hôtellerie (Spirit of the Site, Heritage and Catering) presenting notably the Abbey of Notre-Dame de Trizay in the Vendee and its resident artist.

II) Links for TV reports:

III)    Telephone:  06 72 43 71 04
          e-mail        :  patrickcottencin(at)

blog site    :

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