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Cluny Abbey


Cluny Abbey is a monastery built in 910 AD by William I, Count of Auvergne. As the name suggests, it is located in the town of Cluny in France. It was actually found by Benedictine Monks to observe a close adherence to Benedictine rules.

It stood as a symbol of the continuity of the architecture. An abbey can be defined as a Christian church but the term is also used for the grouping of buildings used by a society of Christian monks or nuns. All of them live under specific religious rules.


Quick Facts: –

  • Cluny Abbey also influenced the construction of various other French monuments like ‘La Charite-sur-Loire’ and ‘Autun Cathedral’.
  • Its church was the world’s largest Christian building in the world until St. Peter’s Basilica was rebuilt in Rome.
  • In 1098, it was declared as the ‘light of the world’ by Pope Urabn II.
  • It was mostly destroyed during the French Revolution in 1790 and later restored.
  • The entrance of Cluny Abbey is known as Porte d’Honneur.
  • It was initially managed by Abbot Berno and supervised by Pope Sergius III.
  • During the 12th century, the abbey was the head of the ‘monastic empire’ including approximately 10,000 monks.
  • Most parts of the abbey was designed with Romanesque architecture and also had Romanesque sculptures.
  • Napoleon Bonaparte used the material from the ruined abbey to build a horse-breeding center in 1806.
  • The church of the abbey stood at a height of 656 feet.


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