Saturday, 14 May 2016

Cluny, Musée Ochier

The Palais de Jean de Bourbon, not far from the abbey church, houses the Musée Ochier which is officially called the Musée d'Art et d'Archéologie.

Claire-voie "des Vendanges" - Rue du Merle / Rue Joséphine Desbois
Even though the museum is strongly affiliated with the abbey it has considerably more to offer than the remains found during the excavations of the abbey grounds.

Claire-voie "des Vendanges" - Musée Ochier
In the streets of Cluny there are still some mediaeval houses which possess Romanesque claire-voies. These are decorated window galleries on the first floor of mediaeval dwellings.

Claire-voie "des Vendanges" - Musée Ochier
Quite a number of these houses have been demolished (partially during town renovations); the original claire-voies have in some cases been reused in other buildings or sold and transported elsewhere (one can even find them in the USA), in other cases they ended up in the Musée Ochier.

Animation Grand portail Cluny III - Musée Ochier
One of these houses is to be found in Cluny's main street (on the corner of 1, Rue du Merle and 2, Rue Joséphine Desbois). The original claire-voie "Des Vendanges" has been painted, as far as possible on the original location around the first floor windows. The remains of the claire-voie (the frieze supporting the columns is reasonably complete) however are on display in the museum, which makes a visit to the museum definitely worthwhile.

Frieze Narthex Cluny III - Musée Ochier
Apart from the claire-voies and smaller remains of Cluny III a few other highlights of the museum are parts of the frieze from the narthex of the church and the paltry remains of the tympanum of the grand portal of the abbey church.

Remains Grand portail Cluny III - Musée Ochier
The remains of the frieze are in good shape and give an excellent impression of the decorations used in Cluny III.
The portal was blown up, and what remains are some bits and pieces which are displayed on a background showing in an ingenious way the portal as it once was. However not all pieces on display are real. Some of the more complete fragments can be found in other museums in France (the Louvre, the Parisian Hôtel de Cluny); those parts on display in Musée Ochier are replicas.

Part of a claire-voie - Musée Ochier
The entrance tickets for the abbey are also valid for the museum, which should not be missed out on during a visit to Cluny.
Click here  for a reasonably complete overview of what is on offer inside the museum.

For our own website click here.

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