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La Chaise-Dieu

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La Chaise-Dieu is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France. Its inhabitants are called Casadéens, from the Latin name of the city.GeographyLa Chaise-Dieu occupies a 1082 m butte which dominates a plain between the mounts of Livradois and Velay. The closest cities are Brioude, Ambert, and Le Puy-en-Velay.The Senouire forms most of the commune's eastern and western borders.HistoryLa Chaise-Dieu means "the Chair of God" in French and is a reference to the Benedictine abbey which was founded on the site in 1043 by Robert de Turlande, a kinsman of Gerald of Aurillac and canon of Saint Julian's church at Brioude, nearby. Robert served an apprenticeship at Cluny under Abbot Odilo, then served as abbot in the community he founded in the wilderness here, initially in the company of a repentant knight, Stephen. The traditional date of the founding is 28 December 1043. The abbey had over 300 monks and 42 outlying priories depending on it when Robert de Turlande died, probably in 1067. After his death, Robert was quickly canonized (1095) as Saint Robert de Turlande (also known as Saint Robert of Chaise-Dieu). The Chaise-Dieu continued to grow throughout the Middle Ages, becoming the motherhouse of further congregations of Black Monks. Pope Clement VI began his vocation as a monk at Chaise Dieu and was the patron of the vast abbey church (built 1344–1350), a suitable setting for his tomb.
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