Friday, September 21, 2012

Once upon a time, Cluny was...


But now, its simple, peaceful, and quiet. Lets talk about Cluny's history:

Cluny’s history is intricately linked to the Cluny Abbey, which was founded in 910 AD by the Benedictine monks. The Benedictine monks led a reclusive life and chose a location that is far away from most of the main cities and well hidden by hills for the building of the Abbey. Cluny began to grow and prosper as the Abbot of Cluny grew in political power. Cluny derived much of its wealth through the pilgrimage of believers because Cluny claimed to have possessed relics of the saints.
Cluny’s prosperity led to the “lazy” and luxurious lifestyle of the Cluniac monks. They spent most of their days in prayer and left the daily work to the villagers of Cluny. The lifestyle of the Cluniacs was luxurious as compared to the laypeople of their time. Another group of Benedictine monks known as the Cistercians did not agree with the lifestyle of the Cluniacs that strayed away from the Benedictine order. The Benedictine order required their monks to live a life of solitude, work and prayer – the Cluniacs did not include work in their daily lives. Thus, the Cistercians chose to distance themselves from the Abbey.
Cluny began to decline in power and wealth starting from the 12th century because of poor management and the expensive construction of the third Abbey. In the 16th century, Cluny was sacked by the Huguenots which led to the loss of manuscripts in the library. During the end of the 18th century, the French Revolution led to a revolt against the rich and the powerful. It had toppled the French monarchy. Cluny was not spared from the French Revolution. The Abbey was destroyed and the stones were used for the construction of other buildings such as the stud farm in Cluny under the administration of Napoleon Bonaparte. 

Today, only a few buildings remain from the old Monastery.

I just realized what history and microbes have in common. Both of them are there, but they can't be seen.

Memorable quotes:
"If we were to count the number of milk of the virgins, we would have a sea of milk" (Dr Reinert, on relics)
"Who knows how many foreskin of Christ are there? The point is that they are profitable." (Dr Reinert, on relics)

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