The Cluny abbey

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The Cluny abbey - Tourism in the Saône-et-Loire

Built in 910, the Cluny abbey used to be the most powerful Benedictine abbey of the West in the Middle Ages. Its abbey church, formerly 187 metres in length and 30 metres in height below the vault, was the largest church in Christendom until the construction of the St Peter's Basilica in Rome. Despite all the damage it suffered during the French Wars of Religion and at the beginning of the 19th century, the Cluny abbey has kept remains illustrating its prestigious religious past: Clocher de l'Eau-Bénite (Holy Water Belfry), and the Clock tower surmounting the south part of the big transept of the abbey church, the Jean de Bourbon chapel, the convent buildings, the cloister and the old flour store, which is now home to carved capitals from the vanished choir of the church. The Art and Archaeology museum, installed in the Jean de Bourbon abbatial palace, exhibits a remarkable collection of medieval sculptures coming from the abbey and the monastic village. Music lovers must not miss the classical music festival, Les Grandes Heures de Cluny, which takes place every year in July and August.

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