The Cluniac Sites in Europe

In 909 or 910, William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, founded a Benedictine Abbey in Cluny, in the French region of Burgundy.



Dates and countries


Incorporated into the programme "The Council of Europe Cultural Routes": 2005

Countries: France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom





Cluny started out as a centre of monastic reform, but gradually its task turned to regenerating the world by consecrating churches and changing the social relations and structure of their surrounding areas. By the early 12th century, Cluny was at the head of some 1400 Cluniac establishments in western Europe: France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Belgium.


This extraordinary expansion was reflected in the construction at Cluny, in the 11th and 12th centuries, of the largest abbey church of all times: the Maior Ecclesia, more than 180 m long! Varied architecture, a distinctive musical form, sculptures and paintings all form part of the fabulous heritage handed down to us by the monks, of which each Cluniac establishment has a part.


The Federation of Cluniac Sites was founded in 1994 with the threefold objective of forging close links between sites, enhancing their Cluniac heritage and supporting their initiatives through action in the fields of education, culture and tourism. Elected representatives, private owners and cultural and tourism associations are actively involved in the pursuit of these objectives, with the help of an international patronage committee bringing together researchers, archaeologists and historians.


The Cluniac sites belonging to the federation have now been organised into transregional and transnational itineraries. In this way, a new cultural and tourism route is gradually expanding across Europe, following the footsteps of the monks of Cluny.


(Photo: Abbey of Cluny, France)



More information








Fédération des Sites Clunisiens

71250 Cluny - France