Length 2.8 km (1.8 miles), terrain: two hills, gain 50 meters
NOTE: This is the next installment of our little Summer Fun-Run routes, in vacation towns in Europe.
Cluny is the home of what was once the most influential abbey in Christendom, a cultural wellspring producing great art and books. Many other abbeys were founded as daughters of the mother abbey in Cluny, and the many abbots had to travel to Cluny each year to report on their progress. The Cluny church was the biggest in the world until St. Peter's was built in Rome, and was the spiritual magnetic pole for endless pious pilgrims.
But Cluny was also associated with negative sides: for the opulent buildings and lifestyles of its monks, who limited their activities to praying and reproducing books. Outsiders were hired to work in the fields, kitchens, stables and gardens. When the French Revolution came, the abbeys were closed down, many of the books were lost, and the great church was turned into a rock quarry for other buildings. Only about ten percent of the previous abbey buildings now stand.
But enough of the abbey still exists to make an interesting tour of the remains. So, if you're in town to visit this unique showplace of history, here's a little route to circle the old town walls.
|The painter and the church|
|The abbey gardens|
|Heading west at the round tower|
|Running by the Haras grounds, with Cluny abbey churchtower in background|
|Tour Fabry. Now comes the uphill part|
|Stone-mason's shop window along Avenue Pierre le Vénérable|
|Heading down the serpentines. Ahead is a sheep meadow|