In the middle of the 11th century, the abbey of Cluny created the priory of La Charité. The church of Notre Dame was consecrated by Pope Paschal II in 1107. This establishment very quickly had an essential role in the expansion of the Cluniac order.
In the 12th century, the church of Notre-Dame was 120 metres long, the Sainte-Croix bell tower was 72 metres high and the nave
27 meters high. More than 400 outbuildings allowed La Charité to become "the eldest daughter of Cluny".
After the revolution, the priory was absorbed by the town. Houses were built on its side, shops were set up in all the
businesses were set up in all the open spaces. Private individuals still live in the old buildings of the
priory buildings. In 1998, the church of Notre-Dame was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO as a major stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in France.
Tradition has it that pilgrims used to take advantage of the "charity of the good fathers", thus giving its name to the town
name to the city. In 2011, the label "City of Art and History" is granted to La Charité-sur-Loire. It recognizes the actions
for more than 10 years, and sets new quality requirements for the years to come.
In 2012, La Charité-sur-Loire became a "Centre Culturel de rencontre", a rare distinction
(15 sites in France) which associates to a remarkable site, the priory, a strong theme, the word and creation,
with a quality cultural program.
Thanks to these distinctions, the site of La Charité, recognized at the national level, gains in notoriety.