A Time Tunnel Named Cluny: Posting on Gadling.com

My latest blogpost on Gadling.com is about the town of Cluny and the 1,100th anniversary of its famous abbey. Here’s the beginning of my post. Click the link to read the whole article!

Say “Cluny” and most people do not think cowled monks, dunce-cap towers or “Lady and the Unicorn” tapestries. They think George Clooney.

Who knows, a thousand years ago Clooney’s ancestors may have strayed north from a monastic cradle in Cluny. Then as now this picturesque town of 5,000 was cupped by green hills at the extreme southern end of Burgundy, a pleasing location. Clooney’s face currently stares out from walls and billboards at mud-clotted carrots and goat’s-milk cheeses: Until recently Up in the Air was playing at Cluny’s only movie theater, on the main market square. Sip an espresso at crusty Chez Sissi or trendy La Nation and you’ll hear natives rolling their Rs with trademark Burgundian accents, pronouncing the actor’s name “GeoRges KloonAye.”

The Clunisois make no claims to patrimony: Clooney isn’t a native. Burgundy is la France profonde-deep, rural France. Family roots run deeper than those of the most venerable grapevines. Never mind that Cluny was once a cosmopolitan city, overrun by English monks, Spaniards, Italians and others, many affiliated with Cluny’s international network of benedictine abbeys. That was a long time ago. READ MORE

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