Minutes of the Annual General Meeting (Troyes, 19 June 2015)

Sites  present:  Germany: Anrode, Heisterbach, Maulbronn, Bronnbach, Neukloster, Pforta;  Belgium:  Aulne, Clairefontaine, Clairefontaine Cordenoy, Grandpré, Herkenrode, Villers,  Italy:  Chiaravalle della Colomba,  Sweden  Skokloster, Vreta;  Spain:  Oia, Piedra;  Portugal:  Alcobaça São Cristóvão de Lafões,  France:  Aumône or Petit Cîteaux, Beauvais (barn), Bouchet, Breuil-Benoît (Le), Cherlieu, Cîteaux, Clairmont, Collège des Bernardins, Crête (La), Etoile (L’), Fontaine-Guérard, Fontaine-Jean, Noirlac, Pontigny, Prée (La), Preuilly, Royaumont, Signy, Val (Le), Valmagne, Vaucelles, Vauluisant

Sites represented: Germany : Altenberg, Altzella, Arnsburg, Bebenhausen, Bredelar, Buch, Ebrach, Eberbach, Hardehausen, Herrenalb, Kamp, Marienstatt, Marienthal, Salem, Schöntall St Marienthal ; Belgium : La Paix-Dieu ; Sweden: Askeby ; France : Aulps, Barbery, Bonnefont, Bonport, Escaladieu, Koad Malouen, Langonnet, Relecq (Le), Timadeuc


The Chairman particularly welcomed:

– The heads of political, historical and archaeological organisations, and cultural and tourist units of the Aube department.

– Dom Vladimir Gaudrat, Father Abbot of Lérins, invited as the Chairman of ARCCIS (Association for Promoting Cistercian Culture) ;

– New Charter members,

– Members of the Clairvaux Revival Association who, working with Jean François Leroux, had magnificently organised this AGM;

– Speakers following the formal part of the AGM, notably Dom Vladimir Gaudrat, Father Abbot of Lérins, Régis Martin owner of Breuil Benoit Abbey, and one of the key architects of Historical Monuments, Bernard Peugniez friend of Vaucelles Abbey and author of the guide to Cistercian Europe, Mme Ana Pagarà, recently nominated as director General of Alcobaça Abbey and Jean-François Leroux, our honorary President.

He thanked them all for having contributed to the success of this AGM, and for all those who formed the core of the members, and who were again present: Maulbronn, Heisterbach, Preuilly, Clairefontaine, Fontfroide Valmagne, etc.

About seventy abbeys were present or represented.  The Chairman stressed the importance to the Charter of the diversity of operating models.  These included:

– Diversity of Owners (national, publicly owned, local regional, lay and religious organisations and private owners),

– Diversity of Languages and Countries,

– Diversity of Focus of Interest (historical, tourist, religious architecture and others).

All this gave an extraordinary uniqueness and richness.   Being united within the same association and sharing experiences (in terms of animation, management, communication, and others) enabled each one to feel involved and be custodian of a vast European network of Cistercian tangible and intangible heritage.

Who could have imagined 25 years ago that such an event – a national commemoration – on such a subject as the ninth centenary of the founding of the Abbey of Clairvaux – could take place in France, which was often focused on the concept of secularism?

From a French viewpoint, the last 25 years had not been deficient in this area.  One thought of the Cistercian exhibition in 1990 in the Conciergerie in Paris, and the Fontfroide symposium in 1992, which provided an outstanding opportunity for a meeting between historians, religious, owners and abbey organisers.

One thought also of Cîteaux ‘98 which, in addition to tourism, brought together the efforts of an entire region, Burgundy, for a few months to focus on the importance of Cistercians in its history.

Today “Clairvaux 2015” with meetings, seminars, exhibitions, tours offered and other events, went far beyond anything so far encountered.

The Chairman believed that the “Clairvaux 2015” project, which was initiated by the joint actions of the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Justice and the General Council of Aube Department deserved our approbation and even more so that these institutions had been able to cooperate with all relevant people involved (including religious, scientists, historians, owners and organisers of abbeys and Cistercian sites).  By placing it in a European perspective, it offered in each country a different context and a different story, and if it was one of the objectives of the Charter to understand and share, we appreciate that we are still very far from the idea of a European focus.  What was certain was that the Charter of which we were members, tirelessly continued to work to ensure that the heritage of which we were custodians was a living heritage and respected throughout Europe. (more…)

General Assembly at Clairvaux

This meeting is held during the third week of June 2015 to commemorate the ninth centenary of the foundation on 21 June, 1115, of the Cistercian Abbey of Clairvaux by St. Bernard and his twelve companions. The “Renaissance of the Abbey of Clairvaux” Association offers a whole week of events. As the capacity of the site at Clairvaux does not allow for hosting the numbers of people expected, many of the events will be held in the city centre of Troyes, a beautiful city that has preserved its rich heritage as the ancient capital of the Champagne district.

Premières informations sur l’AG 2015 de la Charte à Clairvaux

Notre Assemblée générale 2015 ne se déroulera pas en avril, comme chaque année, mais exceptionnellement à la date choisie par saint Bernard et ses douze compagnons pour créer Clairvaux en juin 1115. L’Association Renaissance de l’Abbaye de Clairvaux propose une semaine entière d’événements pour commémorer ce neuvième centenaire. (more…)

In Memoriam – Xavière Morel de Casabianca

C’est avec une grande tristesse que les membres de la Charte ont perdu une collègue et une amie en la personne de Mme Xavière Morel de Casabianca, qui nous a quittés cet été. Depuis plus de quarante ans, Xavière avait rendu vie à l’ancienne abbaye de Saint-André-en-Gouffern qu’elle habitait. Elle était aussi une fidèle des réunions du Conseil d’Administration et des Assemblées générales de la Charte. Cette année encore, elle nous avait rejoints à Morimondo. Par sa distinction naturelle et sa grande générosité, elle donnait à tous ses collègues l’envie d’aller de l’avant, et elle était là pour rappeler les fondamentaux qui unissent tous les amoureux des abbayes cisterciennes. Nous adressons à tous ses proches et ses amis nos plus sincères condoléances.

Cultural Route Of The Council Of Europe : 3 Years Already

The Charter assures(insures) for 3 years, in connection with the Abbey of Escaladieu, the representation of the European certified, Cistercian Road of abbeys in conformance with the cultural routes of the Council of Europe since June, 2010. This label so allowed the Charter to develop a certain legibility with the international institutions, in particular the Council of Europe and the European Commission, within the framework of European events (Lounge(Show) of the Heritage(Holdings), ” crossroads of Europe “, European Day of the Tourism), but also to participate in the exchanges organized by the Council of Europe with the 29 certified European cultural routes (annual Forum of the cultural routes, summer school). October 11th, 2013, abbey of Clairefontaine was so able to participate in a meeting organized in Luxembourg to develop the cross-border partnerships within the framework of the Big Region (CERTESS program financed by the European Commission). The abbey of Aulps integrated the logo “cultural route of the Council of Europe” into its road signalling system.

You can download the new logo and the graphics standards of the Council of Europe on the dedicated site. (more…)

From the Editor – October 2013

Logo de la Charte

The “Charter” of the Charter

Since 2012, our association has been working on a three year project, called “Charter 2015”, aimed at the consolidation, energising and unifying our network of Cistercian sites.  Among the objectives of this project, the development of a “Charter” for our association is key. After the huge effort we have made since inception to identify and assemble the documentary and digital information on our Cistercian sites, our aim is now to take the next step of identifying the core values, which from an aesthetic and symbolic viewpoint unite us around a Cistercian heritage.

We commenced work in this direction, with the aim of launching this Charter at the next AGM.

At the time of writing, this work is well under way.  We have already organised, starting in early 2013, two regional meetings in Francein order to gather the views of those present.  These were discussed informally with other members.  A first draft was presented and approved last April at the AGM in Morimondo (Charter Bulletin 20132 No. 55 – June 2013).  A further agreed draft will be presented to our members at the regional meetings planned to be held here in January and in Germany,BelgiumandFrance.

There is therefore no reason why our association should not have a Charter for approval at the General Meeting at Clairefontaine in April 2014.  Technically this will be an Extraordinary General Meeting, as this Charter will effectively mean a revision of our Constitution.

This EGM will therefore be an important step in developing our association.  We certainly hope for the widest possible participation by our members.  A formal invitation will be sent to you early next year at the latest.  This will include a Proxy form for those who are not unfortunately able to be present. This Charter will aim to give a balanced expression of the stances of our different members in the context of our Constitution, the histories and estates, to preserve and invigorate our exceptional European heritage.

Dominique Mangeot
Charter President

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting at Morimondo (April 20, 2013)

Sites present :

Aulps (F), Aumône Petit Cîteaux (F), Beauvais (F), Bierzwnik (Pl), Bouchet (F), Breuil-Benoît (F), Bronnbach (A), Chiaravalle della Colomba (I), Clairefontaine (B), Clairvaux (F), Collège des Bernardins (F), Escaladieu (F), Esrum (D), Fontevivo (I), Fontfroide (F), Fontmorigny (F), Herkenrode (B),La Clarté Dieu(F),La Crète(F),La Ramée(B), Loc Dieu (F), Maulbronn (A), Melòn (E), Morimond (F), Morimondo (I), Oia (E), Pontigny (F), Preuilly (F), Roosendael (B), São Cristovão de Lafões (Pt), Signy l’Abbaye (F), St-André en Gouffern (F), Tiglieto (F), Valmagne (F), Vauluisant (F), Vaux-de-Cernay (F), Vignogoul (F), Villers (B), Zdar (T)

Sites represented :

Acey (F), Askeby (S), Auberive (F), Beaumont (F), Beaupré (F), Bebenhausen (A), Belleperche (F), Bonnefont-en-Comminges (F), Bonport (F), Cercanceaux (F), Cherlieu (F), Etoile (F), Flines (F), Heisterbach (A), Henrykow (Pl), Koad Maloen (F), Kolbacz (Pl),La Paix-Dieu(B),La Prée(F), Marianowo (Pl), Neukloster (A), Noirlac (F), Nydala (S) Ourscamp (F), Owinska (Pl), Port royal (F), Reigny (F), Rieunette (B) Royaumont (F), Salem (A), Schöntal (A), Stürzelbronn (F), Trois-Fontaines (F), Valloires (F), Villeneuve (F), Villers-Canivet (F), Vreta (S)


Identity Plate “Route des Abbayes cisterciennes” (Route of Cistercian Abbeys)

This identity plate (in anodised aluminium) which includes the Charter’s official logo of the « Itinéraire culturel du conseil de l’Europe » (Cultural Itinerary of the Council of Europe), is displayed at the entrance of the great majority of the member sites of the Charter.  This sign of  support for and membership of the Charter, and is also an identity widely recognised by tourists.  For those who do not already have one, these can be purchased for €130 including postage and tax. See the photograph. Send your order to Charte – Hostellerie des Dames – F. 10 310 Clairvaux, France. You will be sent an invoice.

Maps of Cistercian Abbeys in France

These maps, published jointly between the French IGN and the Cistercian Charter, are a useful product for your shop. You can sell them at the normal retail price of €6.18 although we sell them to you at €4.18 including postage and tax (per pack of 10 maps), leaving you a margin of €2. You can get an even better margin by acquiring a pack of 100 maps for €4.00 including postage and tax. Send your order to Charte – Hostellerie des Dames – F. 10 310 Clairvaux, France. You will be sent an invoice.

Annual General Meeting at Morimondo

Reminder : you will find below links to the provisional programme for our Annual General Meeting on April 20th, 2013 at Morimondo (Italy). We hope as many as possible will attend, and look forward to your booking as soon as possible to enable us to arrange accommodation in the hotels and catering, and to optimise arrangements at the sites being visited. http://www.cister.net/pdf/AG2013EN.pdf

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