Our 2012CATHEDRAL QUEST to France Day 8 Cluny .


Day 8, Monday, Sept 10


We began the day a little earlier with breakfast in the hotel breakfast/lunch room.   We saw our new friends from England,and they told us goodbye as they were driving to Reims.  We walked around the west end of the Abbey ruins.  As I mentioned, our hotel is sitting inside on the right side of the former abbey.  This hotel was built in 1817, shortly after the destruction of the abbey church.


The photo on the left was taken from the original entrance to the Abby. You can see the distance between this point and the remaining South Tower.  The photo on right is the remains to an arch near west front.




We decided to explore the area to the left of the former Abby entrance and West façade.

The building is near the wall is an independent residential building, the palace built by the Abbot Jean de Bourbon in the second half of the 15th century. It is called the Palace of Pope Gelasius. Abbott Jean de Bourbon preferred to have an independent residence directly accessible from the great Gates. The monumental complex included all that was indispensable to the life of a rich prelate. It was spared the vandalism of the Revolution and was then purchased by a resident of Cluny, Jean-Baptiste Ochier. It assumed its present role as museum following a gift by the widow of a Cluny doctor in 1864. Two years later the new museum opened its doors. 




Not far from this house was a much larger ornate home – the palace of Jacques d' Ambroise. It was erected by an Abbott of the same name. The palace turned his back on the Abby entrance and faces east. The front windows were decorated by delicate carvings.




 Walking past this palace, we came to an amphitheater which contained a tower on the wall of the far side. It bears the name of Abbott Hughes de Fabry, who served as Abbott from 1350 to 1351. This tower dates from the 14th century. In the 15th century it was equipped with machiolations (a floor opening between the supporting corbels of a battlement, through which stones, or other objects, could be dropped on attackers at the base of a defensive wall).  


 After climbing down some rather steep steps, we reached the street that runs along the side of the hotel. The right side of the road contained a very old and tall wall. We walked back to the hotel to get our car.



One of the things that my wife really wanted to do was to attend the noon day service at the Taize Community which is about 6 miles from here. The Taizé Community was founded by Frère Roger in 1940.  He pondered what it really meant to live a life according to the >Scriptures and began a quest for a different expression of the Christian life.

At the end of 2010, the community was composed of about one hundred brothers, fromProtestant and Catholic traditions, who originate from about thirty countries across the world.  The community has two aims: to seek communion with God through prayer and to be a leaven of peace and trust in the midst of the human family.  The program is particularly geared to young people 18-28.  Some come to stay a few days, others a month or so, and a year or more. We got there about noon and a young lady from Germany welcomed us and told us about the service and that we could buy a lunch ticket.

As we approached the church, there was a group of young people who were holding large signed reading "silence".We went into a very large modern church with large red flames behind the altar.   There a few benches around the side walls for us old folks.  The center of the aisle is reserved for the 100 monks.  All of the young folks (and the monks) sat or knelt on the floor.  The service, which lasted about a half hour, consisted of singing several chants which were in Latin, a brief scripture reading, about 15 minutes of silence for private prayer and meditation, a prayer, and several more chants.  There were hundreds of people there.

 We have experienced the Taize service at the Washington Cathedral.  This year during Lent at St. James, we sang Taize chants for about 10 minutes before the service.  The chants generally consist of one sentence that is sung over and over many times, often as a round.  An example: Bonum est confidere in Domino (it is good to trust and hope in the Lord).  

After the service we followed the crowd up a small hill to a large tent.  We asked directions from a young woman, who told us she was from Poland.  back to Poland to school.  She took us to the “adult’s lunch tent”.  There was a serving line, where everyone received a tray, plate and cup.  Lunch was a small package of cheese, a cookie and large scoop of rice which contain pieces of ham and corn.   There were chairs out in the yard and benches in the tent which people ate on their laps of sideway on the bench with the food in front.   There were a few tables for “the disabled” which we claimed.   A very nice lady from Australia sat across from us and we had a delightful conservation with her.  She has traveled all over the world.   On my left was a young lady from Barcelona who spoke English quite well.  Her mother sat across from her.  She was from Cordoba in Spain where we had visited the famous mosque/cathedral. The mother did not speak English so her daughter told us everything I said.   It was most enjoyable lunch.

We walked back down the road and saw the old church and a few of the original houses.  We went back to the bookstore and bought several books and a CD of the music.  If you want to know more they have a website – www.taize.fr .

 On the way back we saw a sign for an old church but missed the turn off.  I had remembered seeing another sign so we took that road – it went up and up and around and around getting narrower all the time.  The scenery was beautiful and since no one else was on the road, we took some photos of the white cows.  









We finally came to the church on top of the hill.  There was no one anywhere around.  We went in.  It was quite lovely.








We were back at the hotel in about 10 minutes.  We took a little walk and got ice cream cones.

We came back to our room.    We had picked out a place to eat across the square but there was some kind of school initiation going with a lot of loud hollering so we went a couple block away to the outdoor café next to the ice cream store.  On our travels were have found that there were a few menus with French and English and this was all in French.  Our server helped us a little.  I had fish en brochette (fish medallions ), roasted new potatoes and something that was sort of congealed- don’t know what it was but it was good.   Kathleen had a baked fish, brown rice and the same little surprise.  For dessert we shared a rhubarb tart with ice cream. We need to get to bed soon as we have a two hour or more drive ahead of us in the morning.  We want to arrive at my friend, Alain’s home a little after noon.  



Day 1 - Paris

Day 2 - Sens

Day 3 - Vezelay 

Day 4 - Abbey Fontenay, Semur-en-Auxois, Vezelay -

Day 5 - Beaune

Day 6 - Beaune, Autun, Citeaux, Chateau du Clos Vougeot-

Day 7 - Cluny  

Day 8 - Cluny 

Day 9 - Paray-le-Monial and Clermont-Ferrard

Day 10 - Le Puy-en-Velay 

Day 11 - Avignon 

Day 12 - Avignon to Nimes

Day 13 - Avignon

Day 14 - Marseille

Day 15 - Marseille

Day 16 - Marseille

Day 17 - Marseille to Aigues-Mortes

Day 18 - Carcassonne 

Day 19 - Carcassonne to Toulouse  (posted 10/6/15)

Day 20 - Toulouse

Day 21 - Albi

Day 22 - Toulouse