A must-see

article | Reading time5 min

From the fortified enclosure to the main gate

Vue du clocher de l'abbaye depuis les portes d'honneur

Take a tour of the fortified enclosure and pass through the imposing gate of honor of the abbey of Cluny!

As in many abbeys at the end of the Carolingian era, this fortified enclosure seems to have existed since the end of the 10th century. Enclosing more than 15 hectares over 1350 meters, it played, during several centuries, an important role both for the defense and the prestige of Cluny . In its greatest length, it separated the abbey enclosure from the medieval town.

From the 12th century onwards, access to the abbey was through a double door, partially destroyed during the Revolution. Part of the upper decoration has disappeared but it marked, like a triumphal arch, the entrance to the " holy city" of the monks.

Abbaye de Cluny depuis l'avant nef
Avant-nef de l'abbaye de Cluny (aujourd'hui)

© David Bordes / Centre des monuments nationaux

Did you know that?

The door of honor was part of a gatehouse The Romanesque gate was demolished at the same time.

Built of ashlar, this surviving entrance has the appearance of the large ancient gates characteristic of fortified cities in the first century.

Portes d'honneur de l'abbaye de Cluny
Portes d'honneur de l'abbaye de Cluny

© Philippe Berthé / Centre des monuments nationaux

also to discover