Cluny abbey, Saône-&-Loire

Cluny: the Medieval city

Stage no. 4: by Marion

Through the eyes of members of the Thomas Family (Mathieu, 37 years old / Marion, 38 / Marius, 13 / Margaux, 10), experience Southern Burgundy's 9 "must-stops" as a sequence of episodes for a total immersion as intense as it is unforgettable…

Les incontournables de Saône-et-Loire
La famille Thomas - © DSL/vectorfusionart

" When touring around Burgundy, sure there's a feeling of exoticism, but I'm not just talking in geographic terms. There's something else going on, akin to time travel. A strange yet very pleasant sensation, especially when I think back to how I felt between Paray-le-Monial and the Medieval city of Cluny.

Cluny : abbaye de Cluny - Saône-et-Loire Tourisme
Cluny: Cluny Abbey - Saône-et-Loire - © DSL Givord Véronique

Because this "digitized" visit of the Cluny Abbey (or more precisely the "Maior Ecclesia", Christendom's largest church before the construction of Saint-Pierre in Rome) will remain for all four of us a tour highlight (which merits special mention since it's so rare for all of us to be moved in the same way).

We were immersed in a totally convincing reality between past and present, made possible by designers' ability to deal with all the technological glitches that sometimes appear in such set-ups. Everything was so precise, aligned, accurate: the 3D function worked perfectly, the augmented reality simply mind-blowing. The kids were completely wide-eyed (and, knowing them as I do, it takes a lot to impress them). In the national museum space, the "3D-relief" film", on the heels of the art and archaeology museum exhibit (that Mathieu heavily insisted on seeing), effectively encapsulated the spatiotemporal theme of our Cluny visit, leaving us a bit disoriented as we proceeded to navigate the streets of this medieval town in a state of utter serenity.

Cluny : les portes d'honneur de l'abbaye - Saône-et-Loire Tourisme
Cluny: Cluny Abbey - © DSL Kris van der Stockt

Cluny contains "the richest collection of medieval homes (mainly Romanesque) in France"

Cluny contains "the richest collection of medieval homes (mainly Romanesque) in France" and since I learned that particular item from Mathieu who's a trusted source, this sensation of meandering through time and space stayed with me the whole day. The real showstopper was the circular view overlooking the entire city from atop the "Round Tower", simply awe-inspiring. "

You'll also love Cluny for…


  • The steeplechase race at the Cluny Equestrian Centre: to see up close a few of the most handsome specimens in the region competing (information on the site:
  • The Greenways: whether on a bicycle or electric bike, head out along the former railway line renovated into a cycling strip to the north toward Givry: nearly 50 km of a lush and oxygenating ride along a celebrated path: France's first Greenways (whose 20-year anniversary was recently recognized). Possibility of renting bikes at the departure point and then dropping them at the destination.
  • Arts and crafts exhibitions held at the Saint-Hugues Stables


The Cluny National Equestrian Centre

Created in 1807 at the behest of Napoleon 1st and a fixture of the abbey complex since it was built and installed on the abbey grounds, Cluny's National Equestrian Centre is renowned for promoting France's horse and riding culture. Its stalls house some of the most prized stallions and mares in the nation. In addition to equestrian shows and events dedicated to children and organised throughout the year, guided tours provide a glimpse of this equine facility and discover the various trades at work here.

Cluny : le haras national - Saône-et-Loire Tourisme
Cluny: the national stud farm - Saône-et-Loire - © DSL Petit Jean-Luc

More information:

Discover the other steps of these holidays: