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Cluny Coat of Arms
Cluny (France)
region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Department Saône-et-Loire
Arrondissement Mâcon
Canton Cluny ( chief lieu )
Community association Clunisois
Coordinates 46 ° 26 ′  N , 4 ° 40 ′  E Coordinates: 46 ° 26 ′  N , 4 ° 40 ′  E
height 226-574 m
surface 23.71 km 2
Residents 4,830 (January 1, 2017)
Population density 204 inhabitants / km 2
Post Code 71250
INSEE code

View of Cluny

Cluny (historically also Cluni , Cluny , Kluny u. Ä.) Is a French commune in the Saône-et-Loire in the region of Bourgogne Franche-Comté . It has 4830 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2017) and is located on the Grosne River . The next larger city (30 km southeast) is Mâcon .


The place Cluny was based on the Benedictine monastery founded in 910 ( Cluny Abbey ). The abbey was the starting point and center of the Cluniac reform at the beginning of the 10th century . It owes its far-reaching influence to the strict observation of the Benedictine rules of the order of more than 1,000 monasteries (over 20,000 monks). From 927 to 1157 Cluny was ruled by five influential abbots who were friends and advisers to emperors, kings, princes and popes. The unique status of the abbey, which was directly subordinate to the Pope, was based on this. Many other monasteries asked the abbots of Cluny for advice and joined him. These monasteries no longer had an abbot, but a prior appointed by the Abbot of Cluny. Belonging to Cluny brought with it privileges and respect (security from encroachments by bishops and secular masters, less burdens from the feudal system ).

It was important to the founder of Cluny to secure the founding of the monastery against secular interference, which had become effective in so many other monasteries and which had watered down the basic Christian idea. In the deed of foundation, the exemption , the special legal position of the new monastery, was determined: It should be subject solely to the direct protection of the Pope.

Cluny reached its membership peak at the beginning of the 12th century with around 400 monks. In addition, around 1200 there were a total of around 1,500 branches in Italy, Spain, England, Germany, Poland and the Holy Land. The best known are La Charité-sur-Loire, Vézelay, St-Martial in Limoges, Moissac and St-Martin-des-Champs in Paris. In England Lewes was the main monastery, in Switzerland Romainmôtier and Payerne, in Germany Hirsau was the center.

The Cluny Chancellery had been one of the most famous administrative institutions in the West since the 11th century. The reform popes of the 11th and 12th centuries got their administrative officials from Cluny and with their help created the Apostolic Chamber in Rome . From here the reform of the Benedictine order and - during the 11th century - the militant politics of the church started.

The second abbot of Cluny, St. Odo (879-942), used the special legal position of the abbey by creating something like a monastic empire. He united several monasteries under his authority. This created a decidedly militant Catholicism. With Pope Urban II , who proclaimed the first crusade in 1095, at least one particularly outstanding Pope emerged from this abbey. The monastery became the main bearer of the idea of ​​the crusade in the east and of the reconquest in Spain.

In 1798 the abbey was sold for demolition.

Between 1928 and 1950, the art historian Kenneth John Conant excavated the Cluniac complex and reconstructed it with the help of other still existing Burgundian churches such as Paray-le-Monial . His graphically demanding representations are, however, historically controversial, because his methodology was inadequate. So Conant assumed that other churches belonging to the Cluniac order had been built architecturally based on the model of the Church of Cluny and Cluny reconstructed afterwards. Even the historical engravings and traditional descriptions that he used do not provide a sufficient basis.

On August 11, 1944, Cluny was badly damaged by two attacks by German bombers . 14 residents were killed.


  • Remains of the Romanesque church of Cluny Abbey
  • Cluny Abbey
  • Notre-Dame Church (13th century)
  • Medieval cityscape
  • Hôtel des Monnaies
  • State Horse Stud ( Haras National )
  • Hôtel-Dieu
  • Cheese tower
  • Memorial to the bombing of August 11, 1944

In the area around Cluny (the Clunisois ) there are castles, caves, Romanesque churches, wine routes and museums. The Romanesque building 20 Rue du Merle is the oldest town house in France.



Web links

Commons : Cluny  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Interactive panoramic photographs:

Individual evidence

  1. English description of the connections
  2. Photo of the monument