We are not 1 years old every day! The eleventh centenary of the abbey of Cluny is celebrated with great pomp this year. The building is undergoing a first-rate facelift with gigantic restoration work and the use of new technologies. All summer long, shows, exhibitions and meetings commemorate the new youth of this great lady, both Burgundian and European: happy birthday, Cluny!
Celebrate the spirit of Cluny
A masterpiece of Romanesque art, the largest religious building in Christendom before Saint Peter's in Rome, a major cultural and intellectual center of the Middle Ages… There is no lack of superlatives to designate the abbey of Cluny, which was founded 1 years ago. Subject directly - and only - to the power of the Pope, this Benedictine abbey gradually extended its influence to the whole of Europe. At its peak, at the end of the XNUMXth century, Cluny was one of the capitals of Christian Europe. She finds herself at the head of a network of 1 outbuildings and 400 monks across the continent.
The abbey of Cluny, extremely powerful and rich, forms a kind of religious multinational, but also one of the first European networks in history. It is undoubtedly for this reason that it was the first monument classified “European heritage” in 2007.
Local roots, with very strong links uniting it with the city, and international influence, with a European network: these two characteristics of the abbey are not forgotten during the “Cluny 2010” festivities. The 1th anniversary commemorations involve local associations and the European Federation of Cluniac Sites. The ambitious program is based on two components: upgrading of the remains of the abbey and series of events that extend until December 2010. A gigantic event the size of the abbey of Cluny.
Restoration: a titanic project
More than 90% destroyed after the French Revolution, Cluny still has fine remains: the famous bell tower of the Eau-Bénite, but also the convent buildings of the 2010th century, the south arm of the large transept, the small south transept, the palace of Pope Gelasius, the cellar and the flour maker. On the occasion of Cluny 2007, colossal restoration work, financed by the State and the Burgundy region, was undertaken in 2013. Even if the main part of the work must be completed this year, the whole operations should be completed in 23. In all, some XNUMX million euros will have been invested to restore the abbey to its luster and brilliance.
Le visit route has been improved, with a reception area located on the ground floor of the Gélase Palace. Then, a new exhibition space presents the original abbey using tactile models. In the small cloister, converted into a museum, visitors can see a new 3D movie on the golden age of the church, the “Maior Ecclesia”. Throughout the tour, ten interactive information stations shed light on the places and the rich history of Cluniac sites.
Another great novelty: the presence of three augmented reality terminals mobiles which reproduce with synthetic images the missing parts of the abbey in the current environment. The realism of the images is breathtaking. Hats off to the archaeologists and engineers from ENSAM - ParisTech who designed these little gems!
The highlights of Cluny 2010
The celebrations are not limited to a gigantic construction site. Since September 2009, Cluny, in association with the Cluniac sites across Europe, has set up a copious program of festivities, the main highlights of which will take place this summer. Small selection of events not to be missed:
- Exhibition "Cluny, apogee of Romanesque art" (July 17 - September 30): an event! For the first time, nearly 130 sculptures, mosaics, pieces of goldsmith's work and illuminated manuscripts from all over the world have been brought together to illustrate the golden age of Cluniac Romanesque art in the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. The exhibition takes place in the cellar and flour mill of the abbey.
- Exhibition "Stones and Men" (June 26 - September 26): an interesting exhibition on the houses of Cluny and their architecture between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries. Little is known about it, but many civilian homes were built by the sculptors of the abbey. Cluny presents, after Venice, the largest number of Romanesque houses in the world. The exhibition makes us discover the aesthetics and the evolution of the civil architecture of the city from the XNUMXth to the XNUMXth century, with the help of numerous sculptures and pieces of architecture. At the Hôtellerie Saint-Hugues, place de l'Abbaye.
- "Cluny, dreams of light" (August 13-15 and September 9-12): three evenings of nocturnal illuminations at the Abbey of Cluny, from nightfall to one in the morning. Designed by Patrice Warrener, precursor of the Lyon Festival of Lights, a magical light show to admire from the park, giving thousands of colors to the building. Concerts are given during the illuminations.
- "All of Europe in Cluny" (September 9-12): the high point of the festivities with thousands of people from all over Cluniac Europe. On the program, conferences, shows, hikes and events throughout the city. The Cluny National Stud presents in particular a great equestrian show around the history of the abbey with the participation of 100 horses and 80 artists. Also on the program, the projection of the virtual simulation “Maior Ecclesia” in the remains of the Great Church of Cluny. Thrills guaranteed!
To prepare your stay, consult our Burgundy sheet.
Read our weekend idea in Cluny and the Clunisois.
Cluny 2010 site
- Cluny 910-2010. Eleven Centuries of Radiation Edited by Neil Stratford, Heritage Publishing, 480 pages. Reference book on the abbey of Cluny with contributions from 43 specialists.
- The Abbey of Cluny by Frédéric Sartiaux, Collection Regards, Éditions du Patrimoine, 64 pages. A clear and precise summary of the history of Cluny.