Beaulieu’s origins

Audio commentary voice : Sarah LAFAYE, CRT

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Welcome to Beaulieu. Before the 9th century, there was nothing here except a small village called « Vellinus », named after « Bélénos », the Gallic God of light and sacred water. Around 856AD, Rodolphe de Turenne, who was the archbishop of the city of Bourges, ordered for a monastery to be built. He had 12 monks from Solignac abbey near Limoges, settle down here.  He changed the village’s name, because it sounded too pagan and called it  « Bellus Locus », or Beaulieu, meaning ‘lovely place”, in honour of its beauty. The monastery prospered at a fast pace, thanks to allocations of land and relics. The Castelnau lords, who were neighbouring laymen, were attracted to the abbey’s riches and took it over. In 1095, the Pope decided to put an end to this abuse and associated Beaulieu with its main abbey : which was Cluny. For over a century, Cluny sent builders to Beaulieu. Today’s abbey church is proof of their work. The town developed around the abbey.


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Beaulieu’s origins

Listen to the story about how a small fishing village during the Gallic era became a city called Beaulieu, built around an abbey, from the 11th century onwards.

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