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Cluny(klo͞o`nē, Fr. klünē`), former abbey, E France, in the present Saône-et-Loire dept., founded (910) by St. Berno, a Burgundian monk and reformer. Cluny was one of the chief religious and cultural centers of Europe. The third abbey church built on the site, Cluny III (11th cent.), was designed in the mature Romanesque style. As reconstructed by Kenneth J. Conant, Cluny III was a five-aisle basilica with double transepts and five radiating chapels around the apse. Towers marked the major and minor crossings of the nave, the major transept arms, and the western facade. When completed in the 12th cent., Cluny III was the largest church in the world. The abbey was mostly destroyed during the French Revolution.
a city in Burgundy, the department of Saône-et-Loire, France. It is situated in the picturesque valley of the Grosne River (a tributary of the Saône), west of Mâcon. Population, 44,000 (1962). It is the site of wood-products industries, primarily furniture manufacturing. The city is known for its Benedictine monastery (abbey) with Romanesque churches. These structures, which had a significant influence on the development of Romanesque architecture in Europe, include the Cluny II church (955–81) and the adjacent grandiose Cluny III church (from 1088 to the 12th century). The Cluny III church was a five-naved basilica with two transepts, a ring of chapels, and several towers. Both churches were destroyed in the 19th century. All that remains is the southern arm of the main transept (with an attached tower) of the Cluny III church. Still extant in Cluny are the Gothic churches of St. Marcel (begun in 1159) and Nôtre-Dame (13th century), the town hall (early 16th century), a hospital (17th century), and Romanesque and Gothic residential buildings.