The Val des Choues abbey is located in the town of Villiers-le-Duc, in Côte-d'Or, a few kilometers south-east of Châtillon-sur-Seine. Located south of the village, it is also accessible from the neighboring town of Essarois.
The monastery was founded in the middle of the forest in the 12th century and the monks observed there a rule combining the rule of Saint-Benoît, the main observances of Cîteaux and certain prescriptions of the Carthusians.
The buildings were erected gradually until the 14th century.
Having known a certain influence, protected by the Dukes of Burgundy, the abbey declined after the Middle Ages and was attached in the 17th century to the Cistercian order.
The abbey having been sold and then partly dismantled during the Revolution, some old buildings (mainly from the 17th and 18th centuries) remain accessible to visitors: the travelers' chapel, the hostelry, workshops and a so-called "echo" room, remarkable for its acoustic properties which made it possible to communicate in low voices facing the wall. Contagious patients were confessed there.
The abbey church was destroyed but part of its statuary has been preserved and is now located in the village church of Villiers-le-Duc.
Abandoned in the 19th century, the site which is protected as a historic monument has been partly rehabilitated. In particular, it houses a Hunting Museum, a center where 150 dogs trained for hunting with hounds are kept, as well as guest rooms. The gardens have been restored and the old convent buildings are accessible.
Open every day from March to the end of October. Possibility to attend the meals of the pack at 4 p.m. in June, July and August, Saturdays and Sundays the other months. The site is open for visits from November to February only for groups. Entrance: 8 euros. Information on +33 3 80 81 01 09.