The Musée Ochier, in the abbey palace, has remains of Romanesque sculptures. Remains of both the abbey and the village constructed around it are displayed, as well aspart of the Monks' Library.There are concerts there too. We walked in with the musicians, followed them to the Green Room and were promptly chased out by a very pleasant...more
Careful models of how Cluny III looked before its devastations, were made by Conant and his helpers. These are now exhibited with the recovered stonework in the Fariniere. They help a visitor to visualize the size and magnificence of the buildings and their protective fortifications.more
It is important to realize that the carving of capitals began shortly after 1050 after centuries of an absence of sculptural technic. It began in a workshop (or two) in the Moissac and Toulouse area. These monasteries and churches were in very close affiliation with Cluny and undoubtedly the same craftsmen worked on capitals for Cluny. The...more
The 13C Flour Store being utilitarian was not destroyed during the Revolution. It retains its original chestnut roof on the upper story and today houses most of the sculptural finds (capitals and other decorations), models plus a few pieces of columns and an altar reconstructed like the choir. On the altar is a fine carving that we cannot decipher...more
The Chapel of Jean de Bourbon was added to the South side of the shorter eastern second transept in 1456-85 and is in late Gothic style. Jean was the first commendatory Abbot and with his appointment , the monastery began its slow decline and loss of power. The12 carved consoles are of the prophets who supported a “related” Apostle (whose statues...more
Essentially built between 1088 and 1130 (with additions) , Cluny III was at the time the largest Catholic church in Europe, 600 feet long and 100 feet high in the South Tower. The remains of the church are minimal but the giant transept is worth the visit. This great "ecclesiastical graduate school" turned out the best church managers for some...more
Do give yourself enough time to visit the abbey. The 'tour' starts at the museum - you will find directions all over town 'abbey-tickets'. The tours are only in French, although you will pay the same entrance fee despite the fact that you will not understand a word of French. I did receive a comment fron a fellow VT'er that tours are available in...more
Take the guided tour of the abbey. Our guide was very enthusiastic even if his english was not always up to the task.The abbey was huge, you can only get an idea of its size from todays remains. The abbey grew in power until it rivalled Rome and was unimaginably rich. It was the largest building in the christian world until St Peters got a...more
Besides the amazing visit of the abbey, it is worth walking along the old walls. You will find original entrances, wash-houses, the other towers, the Hotel-Dieu de Cluny, and many other interesting sights.You will also find a view point which gives great views of the town and surroundings.more
The next buiding is clearly marked as part of the abbey-tour. Here you will find many parts of the abbey which survived. You will also be able to watch a very impressive 3-D movie of what the abbey must have looked like in its original condition. It is only in French - but the visuals are more than enough.You can now continue your tour to the...more
Your our can start at the ticket office. Here you can visit Jean de Bourbon's palace and Jaques d'Ambroise's palace.There is a shop at the ticket office.Leaving the ticket office you will see the arches on your right (entrance to abbey). Continue to your left where you will see a huge area where a large part of the main abbey was built.more
We weren't there on a Saturday so I don't have a photo but there is a market in the central square every Saturday morning. The flowers throughout the village were so pretty that I just know the market would be worth a visit. Perhaps you could time your visit on Saturday and visit the market first and the Abbey after lunch.Just a thought.more
In Cluny there is a large place for the raising and training of horses, the Haras National.In March 2006 we didn't see any horses, only heard them in their stables. The roads were slippery so I imagine the thoroughbreds had to stay inside so that they don't get hurt. When we were there in August 2004, we often saw them and you could go and watch...more
We had dinner in the restaurant attached to our hotel. You have to tell them before if you plan to eat there. They have a set "menu", a choice of appetizers, soup, main course and dessert for 22 Euro. A lot cheaper than ordering the items by themselves! A Crémant de Bourgogne as apéritive, a good local wine during the meal, I'm getting hungry and thirsty again just describing it.
They have an open fireplace in the dining - room; it made a very cosy atmosphere. We were somewhat startled when the background music switched to "Silent Night", after all it was early March, even when it was cold and snowing.
The choice of vegetarian dishes is limited, but they were very friendly and helpful and took their time to explain the ingredients to us.
Update July 2008:
The restaurant is just as good as ever! The price for the menu has gone up, it's now 25 Euro and we had to pay for the water. In March 2006 this was free, maybe because we were staying in off-season.
We had an appetizer brought to us by the waiters, who explained that it was salmon paste with pepper, excellent. Then goat cheese pastry,fish, guinea fowl, ratatouille, black currant sorbet, a cheese platter, a good regional wine, alltogether 115 Euro for four people , more that we'd usually spend but worth it for a special occasion.
The old part of Cluny is the most interesting, but it's a nightmare to drive there. There's no need to, as there is a good road leading all around it and a large,free parking lot. Inside there are a few parking spaces, but several times I saw the police walking around and putting tickets on the windshields.The streets are very narrow. One of the...more
11 Reviews and Opinions
About 15 kilometers from Cluny there is a large cave system, the Grottes de Azé.During the stone age people have lived in the caves. The skeleton of a cave bear was found there and can still be seen. There is a small museum where you can learn more about the stone age and the caves.
We were there in August 2004, it was very hot outside, but cold inside, also wet. When you plan to join a tour into the caves, bring a warm sweater and wear good shoes, no sandals.
The tour is in French only, but there are leaflets in English available.
I cannot tell you much about the oldest house in Cluny, so I cannot make this a "what to do" tip. It's just a very nice memory. It was raining heavily, but I was determined to take a few pictures. So I was standing in the pouring rain, when a very old man came and asked me if I was a tourist. I thought he was very polite, dropping the "crazy". Who else but a crazy tourist would be standing in the rain taking pictures??
He then showed me the oldest house in Cluny and told me all about its history.However, about halfway down his long speech my French deserted me, so I only remember that the house changed colour some time during the centuries. I'm not sure if it was white and now is grey or if it was grey and now is white. It didn't look very white to me, but I was seeing it through a sheet of grey rain.
When he had come to an end, we were both pretty wet, but I could tell that he was really happy to have found someone to give this information to.Of course I took a picture of the house and thanked him. (And then went back to the hotel to change into something dry.)