This is part three of my France Diary. Hope you enjoy.
If you´ve read my past two posts (Taizé, Tournus, Cluny) on my stay in France you´d know that the breakfast here in Cluny is totally amazing! Needless to say I ate a whole bunch for breakfast also since it was my last breakfast here.
All ready and fueled up we went to visit the Abbaye de Cluny, or rather what´s left of it.
We did a little tour of it. First you can read a lot about the history and facts about the Abbey, as well as look at a model of the abbey before the destruction.
Here a tiny round-up for you of the most important facts (with links to further information, if you want to know more):
- It was the biggest church in the world until the construction of the Old St. Peter Basilica in Rome started.
- The Abbey is dedicated to St. Peter and strictly followed the Rule of St. Benedict.
- Cluny became acknowledged as the leader of western monasticism. The establishment of the Benedictine Order was a keystone to the stability of European society which was achieved in the 11th century.
- In 1790 during the French Revolution, the abbey was sacked and mostly destroyed, with only a small part of the Abbey surviving.
When we were done reading, we went on further on the tour, which now showed us to a 3D movie, which basically took you through the whole church as it was before the destruction. That way when you now walked into the remaining parts, you´d have a tiny vision of what it´d been.
It is really impressive and very hard to picture how big this master piece actually was, as it is so huge already, just the remaining part of it.
When we were done examining this building in awe, we drove to the Rock of Solutré.
Just the little drive there was already worth it, through the vineyards and tiny little villages.
The Rock of Solutré is known for it´s iconic structure, being a geological phenomenon, and as a prehistoric site of the eponymous Solutrean paleolithic culture.
The legacy says that men around 22,000 – 17,000 BP (Before the Present) used the rock to hunt by herding or punching animals from the top of the mountain into death.
Other than that the flora and fauna is just amazing around the rock.
Just a fun fact: The rock became more known when Francois Mitterrand, the french president from 1981-1995, made ritual ascents of the peak once per year, taking his closest cabinet with him.
We didn´t climb the rock. That is a goal for the future.
What we did do is drive to friends and stay there for an incredibly relaxing week in the middle of nothing, except wonderful nature.