Souvigny, Cluny's eldest daughter
Aimard, the first known ancestor of the Bourbons, donated in 916 to the abbot, Bernon of Cluny, his Souvigny "villa" and the church devoted to Saint Peter.
Thus, ten years on from the abbey of Cluny foundation, Souvigny became one of the first premises of the Burgundy abbey which gained further acclaim after the Saints Mayeul and Odilon, 4th and 5th abbots of Cluny died and were buried at Souvigny. Souvigny never ceased to have an influence in the Bourbon area. Its priory church became a centre of pilgrimage, popular in the Middle Ages and the spiritual capital of the Bourbons.
Priory Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
This church is the biggest religious building in the Bourbon area (10th to 15th century) and its old and new chapels house several sculptures of the Dukes and Duchesses who have marked the Bourbon history.[more information]
Museum of Souvigny and the Zodiac Column
This museum is set up in the former monastery barns of the adjoining priory. The permanent collection is devoted to the archaeological, monumental and ethnological heritage of the surrounding countryside. The key piece of the Southern barn is the Zodiac column, the only pillar in the world cut in the 12th century. .[more information]
The Souvigny Priory gardens are the reconstitution of French formal gardens as they were in the 17th and 18th centuries, combined with a monastery style garden with medicinal and aromatic plants. Here you will find square plots of rare or old varieties of vegetables. The plants are all labelled with details about their use and medicinal properties. The garden also has a pool and fountain. .[more information]
Listen to our stories about Souvigny and its history