A small French village, voted 10th favourite French village in 2015, situated on the banks of the River Creuse.  Walks and a picnic can be had along the river banks and the river can be crossed by a “roman” bridge but is in fact “Romanesque” in style.  In the village and entered through a large granite portal can be found the remains of a beautiful 10th-century Clunisienne abbey and within which can be found some very impressive 17th-century wooden carvings. The order of Cluny was a monastic order of the Catholic Church created in the 10th-century and suppressed at the end of the 18th-century and which followed the rule of St. Benedict.

The abbey was founded in 997 by Boson II, Count of the March, as evidenced by an act in the cartulary of the Abbey of Uzerche. This monastery (originally monasterium, which later evolved into "moustier", then shortened to "moutier") became known under the name of "Moutier d'Ahun" and eventually gave its name to the town in 1790. It had 22 churches, chapels and priory, spread over 3 dioceses, including the Priory of Drevant.

Today nothing remains of the church and the original buildings. The oldest remains date back to the 12th-century. Having probably suffered from the Hundred Years War, the abbey was rebuilt from 1489 (Gothic entrance porch, nave, transept, part of the choir).

In 1591, the monastery was looted, the convent buildings and the abbey burned and ruined (the nave, in particular, collapsed). For nearly twenty years, the monastery was abandoned and the inhabitants of the village and surrounding area rob many of the carved stones to rebuild their own homes, causing further damage.

Some monks or the old order of Cluny resettled in the monastery in 1610, where they live in very precarious conditions. It was not until 1612 that an overall reconstruction was undertaken, and which continued for several years. The main buildings were completed by 1616-1619, but the dormitory of the monks was not completed only in 1648.

A small community of about 8 monks and 2 novices remained in the monastery. During the 17th and 18th centuries, numerous disputes erupted between the ruling abbots and the monks and were subject of lengthy trials. They did not end until the dissolution in France of the monasteries pronounced by the king in 1788. In 1790, the monastery and its lands, declared national property, were sold by auction. The former abbey officially became the parish church of the town of Moutier-d'Ahun in 1844. It is at this time that the last vestiges of the nave are razed.

Today, a garden occupies the place of the old nave. Trees were planted on the supposed site of the old pillars. In this garden, in addition to the monument to the dead of the town, you can see, on the right as you enter, an old milestone (the distance is given in Gaulish leagues, 1 league is approximately 2.2 kilometers). The inscription specifies the distance from Ahun (Acitodunum) to Limoges (Augustoritum): 34 leagues. The inscription makes it possible to date this marker to the year 243.

  Google map and directions

  Moutier d'Ahun Facebook Page

Opening Times:

  • From January 2nd to April 15th - open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 5pm
  • From April 16th to April 30th - open every day except Monday and Tuesday from 2pm to 5pm.
  • From May 1st to June 30th - open every day (except Tuesday) from 2pm to 5pm.
  • From July 1st to August 31st - open every day from 10am to 12:30pm and from 2pm to 6:30pm
  • From September 1st to October 15th - open every day (except Tuesday) from 2pm to 5pm.
  • From October 16th to December 31st - open Friday, Saturday & Sunday from 2pm to 5pm.
  • Closed on January 1st