List of Cistercian monasteries

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The spread of the Cistercians from their original sites during the Middle Ages

The Cistercians are a Roman Catholic religious order of enclosed monks, whose monasteries and abbeys have been built from 1098. The first Cistercian abbey was Cîteaux Abbey. Their monasteries spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages, but many were closed during the Protestant Reformation, the Dissolution of the Monasteries under King Henry VIII, the French Revolution, and the revolutions of the 18th century. Some survived and new monasteries have been founded since the 19th century.

There are a certain number of medieval monasteries and other Cistercian buildings (salt factories, watermills) that are abandoned or ruined, or converted into hotels such as Monasterio de Piedra or St. Bernard de Clairvaux Church.[1][2]

Cistercian monasteries are divided into those that follow the Common Observance, the Middle Observance and the Strict Observance (Trappists). There are currently nearly 169 Trappist monasteries in the world, the home of approximately 2500 Trappist monks and 1800 Trappist nuns.[3]



Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Cîteaux Abbey Trappist 1098 Saint-Nicolas-lès-Cîteaux, Côte-d'Or 1791 1898 Latin Cistercium, from which the Order's name derives.
Pontigny Abbey 1114 1843 Second of the four great daughter houses of Cîteaux; refounded by the Fathers of St. Edmund
Clairvaux Abbey 1115 Third of the four great daughter houses of Cîteaux; founded by St Bernard
Morimond Abbey 1115 1791 Fourth of the four great daughter houses of Cîteaux
Mazan Abbey 1120
Abbey of Loc-Dieu 1123 1793
Le Thoronet Abbey ca. 1150s Brignoles 1785
Silvacane Abbey 1144 La Roque d'Antheron 1443
Abbey of Sénanque 1148 Gordes
Our Lady of the Snows Trappist 1850 Saint-Laurent-les-Bains, Ardèche
Lérins Abbey 1869 Île Saint-Honorat Founded on the site of a monastery established by Saint Honoratus ca. 410.
Bonneval Abbey Trappist nuns 1147 Le Cayrol, Aveyron 1791 1875 Bonneval means Good Valley.

Great Britain and Ireland[edit]


Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Aulne Abbey 637 - 1147 Thuin 1794 Important ruins
La Cambre Abbey 1196 Ixelles
Hemiksem Abbey 1243 Hemiksem ca. 1795 1836 in Bornem
Herkenrode Abbey Nuns 1182 Kuringen 1797
Orval Abbey Trappist 1132 Gaume 1793 1935 The Orval Brewery produces two well known Trappist beers
'Ten Duinen' Abbey 1107–1138 Koksijde and Bruges 1796 The Abbey was moved from Koksijde to Bruges in the 17th century
Villers Abbey 1146 Villers-la-Ville 1796 Impressive ruins
Westmalle Abbey Trappist 1794–1836 Westmalle

Central and Eastern Europe[edit]

Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Stična Cistercian Abbey Common Observance 1132 Stična, Slovenia 1784 1898
Jędrzejów Abbey Common Observance 1140 Jędrzejów, Poland 1819 1945
Wągrowiec (formerly Łekno) Abbey[de] Common Observance 1153 Wągrowiec, Poland 1835
Sulejów Abbey Common Observance 1176 Sulejów, Poland 1819 1986
Wąchock Abbey Common Observance 1179 Wąchock, Poland 1818 1951
Mogiła Abbey Common Observance 1222 Kraków, Poland
Szczyrzyc Abbey Common Observance 1224 Szczyrzyc, Poland
Zirc Abbey 1182 Hungary 1810 1814
Igriș Abbey - 1179 Romania 1551 -
Cârţa Monastery - 1205-6 Romania 1474 -
Kołbacz - 1210 Poland 1347 -
Kutjevo 1232 Croatia
Belakut Abbey - 1235 Vojvodina, Serbia 1688 -
Krzeszów Abbey 1242 Poland


Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Alvastra Abbey 1143 Östergötland, Sweden 1544 Ordered torn down by Gustavus I in 1544
Nydala Abbey 1143 Småland, Sweden 1529 2008 Three Vietnamese monks arrived on 6 June 2008
Lyse Abbey 1146 Norway 1537
Hovedøya Abbey 1147 Oslo, Norway 1532 Burned prior to the Reformation
Varnhem Abbey 1150 Västergötland, Sweden 1566
Julita Abbey 1160 Södermanland, Sweden 1527
Esrum abbey[fr] 1151 by Archbishop Eskild & Bernard of Clairvaux Zealand, Denmark (Sjælland) After The Reformation 1536 Very important abbey in Scandinavia
Sorø Klosterkirke 1161 by Bishop Absalon Zealand, Denmark (Sjælland) ca. 1580 Founded by monks from Esrum Abbey
Vitskøl abbey[de] 1158 by Archbishop Eskild Jutland, Denmark After The Reformation 1536 Founded by monks from Esrum & Varnhem, Sweden
Roma Abbey 1164 Gotland, Sweden Before 1531 Founded by monks from Nydala Abbey
Tautra Abbey Trappist 1207 Norway 1537 1999
Stamsund Common Observance Lofoten Islands, Norway Recently established


Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Lehnin Abbey Nuns
1180 Lehnin 1542
Lichtenthal Abbey Nuns 1248 Baden-Baden
Porta Coeli Nuns
Lutheran conventuals as of 1550s
by 1250 Himmelpforten 1630
Waldsassen Abbey Nuns 1133 Waldsassen, Bavaria (near Czech-border) 1863
Zinna Abbey 1170 Jüterbog 1553


Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Heiligenkreuz Abbey Common Observance 1133 Heiligenkreuz, Lower Austria
Lilienfeld Abbey Common Observance 1202 Lilienfeld, Lower Austria
Rein Abbey Common Observance 1129 Near Gratwein, Austria
Zwettl Abbey Common Observance 1138 Zwettl, Lower Austria

Czech Republic[edit]

Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Sedlec Abbey 1142 (Near) Kutná Hora, Bohemia 1783
Plasy abbey[cs] 1144 Plasy, Bohemia 1785
Osek abbey[de] 1199 Osek, Bohemia
Porta coeli Convent Nuns 1233 Předklášteří near Tišnov, Moravia 1782, 1950 1901, 1990
Vyšší Brod Monastery 1259 Vyšší Brod, Bohemia 1941 1989
Zbraslav Monastery 1292 Zbraslav, today in Prague, Bohemia 1785
Nový Dvůr Monastery Trappist 2002 Near Toužim, Bohemia
Klášter Naší Paní nad Vltavou Trappist nuns 2007 Křečovice, Bohemia


Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
St.Peter and Paul Abbey[de] 1131 Abbadia Cerreto, Lombardy
Certosa di Pavia 1396 Certosa di Pavia, Lombardy
Chiaravalle Abbey 1135 Milan, Lombardy
Morimondo Abbey 1134 Morimondo, Lombardy
Piona Abbey Colico, Lombardy
Rovato Abbey Rovato, Lombardy
Viboldone Abbey 1176 San Giuliano Milanese, Lombardy
Santa Maria Arabona 1209 Manoppello, Abruzzo 1587
Santa Maria Casanova 1191 Villa Celiera, Abruzzo 1807
Santa Maria della Vittoria 1277 Scurcola Marsicana, Abruzzo 1550
Santi Vito e Salvo 1247 Villa Celiera, Abruzzo 1453
Santo Spirito d'Ocre 1248 Ocre, Abruzzo 1692
S. Maria di Chiaravalle di Fiastra Common Observance 1142 Urbisaglia 1581 1985
Monastery of Calabromaria Altilia di Santa Severina 1784
Abbazia di San Giusto, Tuscania Common Observance 1146 Tuscania 1460? 2012

Spain and Portugal[edit]

Abbey Type Founded Location Closed Re-established Details
Santa María la Real, Fitero 1141 Fitero, Spain
Santa María de la Oliva 1134 Carcastillo, Spain
Poblet Monastery 1151 Catalonia, Spain 1835 1940s Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1991
Monastery of Alcobaça 1153 Portugal Listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1989
Casbas Monastery 1196 Casbas de Huesca, Aragon, Spain Previously a Benedictine community; in 1196 it became Cistercian
Monasterio Santa María de Valdediós 1200 Asturias, Spain [1]
Real Monasterio de Nuestra Señora de Rueda 1202 Ebro, Spain Includes important hydrological works from the Middle Ages, including a dam on the Ebro and a massive waterwheel or "rueda", which diverted some of the river flow to a Gothic aqueduct for distribution to various parts of the monastery.
Monastery of Santa María la Real (es), Villamayor de los Montes Burgos, Spain
Our Lady of Bujedo de Juarros Abbey Burgos, Spain
Monastery of Santa María la Real de las Huelgas 1600 Valladolid, Spain

United States[edit]

Abbey Type Founded Location Details Website
Abbey of Gethsemani Trappist 1848 Kentucky Home of Thomas Merton [2]
New Melleray Abbey Trappist 1849 Peosta, Iowa [3]
Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey Common Observance 1920s Sparta, Wisconsin Closed 2011. Supported itself with financial investing, real estate, forestry and rental of farmland. It also operated "Laser Monks", which provided recycled laser toner and ink jet cartridges.[4]
Monastery of the Holy Spirit Trappist 1944 Conyers, Georgia [4]
Abbey of Our Lady of the Holy Trinity Trappist 1947 Huntsville, Utah No longer accepting novices.[5] [6]
Mount Saint Mary's Abbey Nuns (Trappist) 1949 Wrentham, Massachusetts Daughter house of St. Mary's Abbey (Glencairn, Waterford). [7]
Mepkin Abbey Trappist 1949 Moncks Corner, South Carolina [8]
Assumption Abbey Trappist 1950 Ava, Missouri [9]
Holy Cross Abbey Trappist 1950 Berryville, Virginia [10]
St. Joseph Abbey Trappist 1950 Spencer, Massachusetts Founded as Our Lady of the Valley Abbey in Central Falls, Rhode Island in 1900. Moved 1950 after a fire destroyed most of their buildings.[5] [11]
Abbey of the Genesee Trappist 1951 Piffard, New York [12]
Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey Trappist 1955 Lafayette, Oregon The community moved from the abbey at Pecos, New Mexico (founded 1948) to Oregon, where farming gave higher yields. [13]
Abbey of New Clairvaux Trappist 1955 Vina, California [14]
Valley of Our Lady Monastery Nuns (Common Observance) 1957 Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin The first Cistercian nunnery in the United States, founded by nuns from the Swiss Abbey of Frauenthal. [15]
Our Lady of Dallas Abbey Common Observance 1958 Irving, Texas Founded from the Cistercian monastery of Zirc in Hungary. Runs the Cistercian Preparatory School in Irving, TX [16]
Our Lady of the Redwoods Abbey Nuns (Trappist) 1962 Whitethorn, California Founded from the Cistercian monastery of Nazareth in Belgium. [17]
Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey Nuns (Trappist) 1964 Dubuque, Iowa Daughter-house of Mt. St. Mary Abbey in Wrentham, Massachusetts. [18]
Our Lady of the Angels Monastery Nuns (Trappist) 1987 Crozet, Virginia [19]
Our Lady of Fatima Monastery Common Observance Mount Laurel, New Jersey
St Benedict Monastery Trappist 1956 Snowmass, Colorado [20]
Santa Rita Abbey Nuns (Trappist) Sonoita, Arizona [21]

Australia and New Zealand[edit]

Abbey Type Founded Location Details Website
Tarrawarra Abbey 1954 Victoria, Australia Founded from Ireland. Since 1998 Tarrawarra has had a daughter house in Kerala, India: Kurisumala Ashram. [22]
Southern Star Abbey 1954 Kopua, New Zealand The Abbey is situated on a dairy farm between Dannevirke and Takapau, Central Hawke's Bay. [23]


Abbey Type Founded Location Details Website
Abadia de Nossa Senhora de São Bernardo Monges (OCist.) 1943 São José do Rio Pardo, SP, Brasil Com o rescrito da Sagrada Congregação para os Religiosos de 22 de fevereiro de 1943 e o decreto do Abade Geral de 25 de fevereiro do mesmo ano, erigiu-se canonicamente o Mosteiro de Nossa Senhora de São Bernardo, com direito de ter noviciado próprio. Por ocasião do Definitorium da Ordem em 1947, Dom Afonso Heun entregou a fundação de São José do Rio Pardo à Congregação de São Bernardo da Itália. Em 10/09/96 o Capítulo da Congregação elevou por unanimidade São José do Rio Pardo à categoria de Abadia.



Abbey Type Location
Abbatia B.M.V. de SS. Corde Iesu Common Observance MY–CA
Abbatia B.M.V. de Phước Sơn Common Observance PHƯỚC SƠN
Monastère de Châu Sơn Common Observance CHÂU SƠN NHO QUAN
Abbatia Purissimi Cordis B.M.V. de Phước Ly Common Observance PHƯỚC LÝ
Abbatia B.M.V. de Châu Thủy Common Observance CHÂU THỦY
Abbatia B.M.V. de Thiên Phước Common Observance THIÊN PHƯỚC
Monastère de Phước Vĩnh Common Observance PHƯỚC VĨNH
Monastère de An Phước Common Observance AN PHƯỚC
Monastère N.-D. de Vĩnh-Phước Common Observance VĨNH PHƯỚC
Monastère N.-D. de Phước Hải Common Observance PHƯỚC HẢI
Abbatia B.M.V. de Phước Thiên Common Observance PHƯỚC THIÊN


  1. ^ de Ange, Angie (2007). "Oldest Building in the West". Orange & Blue (University of Florida: College of Journalism & Communications). Retrieved 2009-01-03. The St. Bernard de Clairvaux Episcopal Church, known as North Miami Beach’s Ancient Spanish Monastery, it is one of the oldest buildings in the Western Hemisphere. 
  2. ^ Carlson, Charle (April 2005). Weird Florida. Barnes & Noble. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7607-5945-5. 
  3. ^ FAQ-eng
  4. ^ Rob Baedeker (March 24, 2008). "Good Works: Monks build multimillion-dollar business and give the money away". San Francisco Chronicle. 
  5. ^ "Saint Joseph's Abbey". 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]