Pontigny is "Citeaux abbey's second daughter"! This abbey was founded in 1114. At that time, abbot Hugues de Mâcon came here with few monks, in order to raise a monastery in Pontigny, ordered by saint Etienne. Lords and princes (as for instance Thilbault the Great, count of Champagne) gave them lots of money and privileges, so the abbey became very prosperous. They raised a big church on the foundation of the old primitive chapel and a surrounding wall.
Did you know that Pontigny welcomed Thomas Beckett, archbishop of Canterbury? He was persecuted and hounded by king Henri II Plantagenet, so he took shelter here, until 1164...
The French Revolution expelled monks away from the abbey, which became a stone quarry... until the middle of the 19th century! Missionary fathers moved in and saved Pontigny from ruin!