Visit Paray-le-Monial (Burgundy, France)
Paray-le-Monial is west of Cluny in the Sâone-et-Loire department, in southern Burgundy. Paray-le-Monial is an attractive town set in the rolling landscape of western Burgundy on the banks of the River Bourbince.
It is an important pilgrim town following the apparitions of Christ to a nun, Saint Margaret-Mary Alacoque during the 17th century and continues to attract 100,000 pilgrims each year.
The town has one major attraction, that makes it both an unmissable part of the tourist trail (it attracts more than 1 million visitors each year) and an important pilgrimage centre - the Basilica du Sacré-Coeur.
The basilica at Paray-le-Monial is a well-proportioned roman style church dating from the 12th century. The chevet and associated chapels surround the octagonal central tower, while the church makes good use of windows at various levels to allow light to illuminate the interior. The front of the church is rather more austere with two thin square towers either side of a plain facade.
Inside the basilica at Paray-le-Monial see in particular the decorative capital stones and the painting on the ceiling above the choir. You can also see the abbey cloisters.
The basilica sits on the river's edge and is a beautiful building in a lovely setting. For those with a fascination in architecture the basilica also provides a glimpse of what the abbey at Cluny will have looked like in its original form.
Other places to visit in Paray-le-Monial
The Town Hall - the 16th century House of Jayet has a very richly decorated facade, covered in columns, shells, cherubs etc. The facade was built onto the existing building for a rich trader between 1525 and 1528.
The Chapel of the Visitation - this 17-19th century chapel was built where Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque saw the apparition of the heart of Jesus. The chapel receives a huge number of pilgrims each year. Marguerite-Marie was canonized in 1920.
The Saint Nicholas Tower - this used to be part of a much bigger church but much has been removed. The bell-tower was added to the church in 1549 and was kept when the rest of the church was dismantled and became the town's clock tower.
The Chapel de la Colombiere, a 20th century chapel built in Byzantine style by the Jesuit population of Paray le Monial. Inside are some lovely and very colourful mosaics.
Museum of Hieron - built in the 1890s to house an art collection consisting mostly of 17 and 18th century Italian paintings. It is the oldest Sacred Art Museum in France and houses one of France's national treasures, 'La Vie Vitae' or 'Road of Life' by the Jeweller Joseph Chaumet (1894 - 1904).
Photos of Paray-le-Monial
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Tourist classifications for Paray-le-Monial
Paray-le-Monial has received the following tourist classifications: listed town of Art and History ; village in bloom (ville fleurie) 4*
Address: Paray-le-Monial, Charolles, Saone-et-Loire, Burgundy, 71600 || GPS: latitude 46.451, longitude 4.1202
Map of Paray-le-Monial & places nearby
Highlights close by
Suggested tourist attractions to visit near Paray-le-Monial, France
- Basilique du Sacré-Cœur (Paray-le-Monial) - religious monument
- Charolles - village d'etape (12km)
- Eglise de Saint Pierre et Saint Paul (Montceaux-l'Etoile) - religious monument (12km)
- Les jardins Romans de Varenne-l'Arconce - remarkable garden (13km)
- Eglise de Saint Nizier (Baron) - religious monument (13km)
- Eglise de Saint-Pierre-aux-Liens (Varenne-l'Arconce) - religious monument (13km)
- Jardin du château de Digoine - remarkable garden (13km)
- Jardin du château de Chaumont - remarkable garden (15km)
- Prieuré d'Anzy-le-Duc (Anzy-le-Duc) - religious monument (15km)
- Eglise de Saint Germain (Saint-Germain-en-Brionnais) - religious monument (16km)
Market days in Paray-le-Monial: Regular market(s) are held in Paray-le-Monial each Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Paray-le-Monial (Francais)