It once stood to rival Rome as the largest centre of Christian influence in western Europe and seemed a fitting start to our Vienna road trip.
Yet, imagining what Cluny must have been like in the 11th century is challenging. The huge monastery, whose church was larger than Notre Dame in Paris, fell victim to the 1789 revolutionary zeal and was systematically dismantled and quarried in the early years of the 19th century.
Today there is hardly anything left of it. Wandering around the pretty town you see enough remnants of the old religious complex to get a sense of its importance, including the rows of romanesque houses built by the stonemasons employed to work on the monastery. Continue reading “Cluny: conjuring up lost worlds”
“This is a place of silence and peace”, says the sign as you enter La Tourette convent, Le Corbusier’s last major work in France. Quite what the party of 40 architecture students from Darmstadt, who are boisterously pouring out of their tour bus, will make of that remains to be seen. Or how they will comply with the instructions pinned on the back of the bedroom doors not to congregate, eat or drink in the ‘cells’.