"Site of the Once World's Largest Catholic Church" Cluny by hquittner

Cluny Travel Guide: 28 reviews and 78 photos

On to Cluny

We returned to our base near Beaune via the town of Cluny (pop. 4.7K) from the Monastery of Brou, first passing Solutre Rock en route. The town is famous in history for its powerful monastery. It was founded in 910 as a member of the Benedictine Order. The leading monks immediately developed a successful disciplined approach that allowed them to quickly gain ascendency in the Order and shortly founded over 1000 "daughter" groups. This was at the beginning of the Romanesque style of church building. A great part of the Cluniac success centered around organization (education and discipline of members) and building (churches and monasteries). The most popular manifestation was the promotion of pilgrimages (entailing routes, protection, purposeful "tourism", pilgrimage churches, etc). But there was much more involved. In 1253 Sorbonne founded a theological college in Paris for poor students. Immediately the Cluniacs built a Parisian home next to it from which they recruited the best students to their organization, (Later in the 1485-1510 this was remodeled in Gothic style by Abbot Jacques d'Amboise (only one other such Hotel in Paris) as what is today the Museum of the Middle Ages ("the Cluny").

The Town

The town today has grown into and around the ruins of the monastery. Even the National Stud Farm (Haras) occupies some outbuildings and stable areas. Archeological research was done by an American professor, K. J. Conant by name, in the 1928 and later period and a street named for him proceeds down a lane within the ruin in the line of the nave, that carries his name.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Remarkable!
  • Cons:Could Use More Information for the Unenlightened
  • In a nutshell:Worth a Studious Stop
  • Last visit to Cluny: Jun 1992
  • Intro Updated Nov 15, 2008
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