Cluny, Or Clugny, a town of France, in the department of Saone-et-Loire, 12 m. N. W. of Macon; pop. in 1866, 4,253. It has several churches and schools, manufactures, a government stud, and some trade in cattle, horses, timber, and grain. The town sprang up around a Benedictine abbey, founded in the 10th century, which in the 11th and 12th centuries acquired great celebrity. Popes Gregory VII., Urban II., and Pascal II. had all been inmates of this abbey, which was inhabited at one time by 10,000 monks, and controlled over GOO religious houses. The most illustrious of the abbots was Pierre Maurice, or Pierre de Mont-boissier, known as Peter the Venerable, who gave an asylum to Abelard, and after his death befriended Heloi'se. Subsequently the abbey declined, and in 1502 it was partly ruined by the Huguenots. In 1780 the monks were expelled, and in 1792 their famous basilica, once the finest church connected with a monastery, was plundered by revolutionary troops, and the building itself was sold at auction and pulled down. Only two towers of it remain, with fragments of the south transept, the Bourbon chapel, and some walls.
Its library was one of the most renowned in France. A normal school for training special teachers for lyceums and colleges was established in 1865 in the remaining parts of the ancient abbey. The annual prizes and medals are awarded in a grove which is said to have been planted by Abelard. - The Cluny museum of national antiquities (musee de l'hotel de Cluny) in Paris derives its name from one of the abbots of Cluny, who in the 14th century built the palace of Cluny for the use of his order; but the abbots did not often reside there, and gave the use of it to princes and cardinals. In 1790 it was confiscated and sold. The city of Paris purchased it in 1842, and presented it to the government, together with the ruins of a Roman palace belonging to it and called Thermes de Julien.