Cluny. Watch the videos about the lost masterpiece of the Western world
Cluny. The lost masterpiece
Watch the videos with the graphic restitution of Cluny. The Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, Burgundy(France), founded in 910, has for centuries been the religious centre of Europe.
In Byzantium, there was a smooth continuation of the Roman Empire. But in Western Europe, after the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, chaos prevailed for centuries. The only centres of culture were monasteries. Here the ancient manuscripts were preserved and the arts were cultivated.
The most prominent among the monasteries of the Western world was the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny. It has been a spiritual centre of Europe for many centuries, with hundreds of annexes and thousands of monks.
The videos represent the central church of the monastery, of Saints Peter and Paul. It was the largest church in the world and was overcome only in the 16th century – by just a little – by Saint Peter of Rome .
Unfortunately, the closing of the monasteries during the French Revolution led to the demolition of this architectural wonder, which was a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture (precursor to Gothic). Today only a very small part of it remains.
The videos show the basic features of the great Romanesque churches: capitals with sculptures, a mural of the Last Judgment in the sanctuary, a deambulatory around the sanctuary. This passage allowed the faithful to visit the chapels that radiated around the sanctuary, without disturbing mass that was being carried out there.
When later Gothic architecture allowed the creation of huge windows, the stained glass became the main decorative element of the churches of the West.
Here is the church’s interior
And here is the church’s exterior
The impressive building that we see today is just a corner of the colossal church! Source: Michal Osmenda from Brussels, Belgium (Cluny Abbey) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Cover photo: Hannes72 (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Hello! I am Denis, an architect based in Athens, Greece. I teach history of art and architecture in higher education. That’s one passion of mine. The other one is hiking, in and out of town. If you follow me, I’ll share my discoveries with you.
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