Paray le Monial
Location:70 km southwest of cottages.
Nearby: Digoin et son pont canal, chateau de La Clayette, chapelles de Gourdon, Bois Sainte Marie et Montceaux-l'Etoile - on the way are located the coal mine museum (Torcy) and the impresive former tiles plant (Ciry-le-Noble), both worth visiting.
Why we recommend Paray-le-Monial:
- the basilica of the Sacred Heart (la basilique du Sacré Coeur), certainly the most successful construction of the Cluniac Romanesque style of architecture,
- the annexes of the basilica - the cloister, the museum of earthenware, the chapels - and the walk along the river Bourbince,
- the facade and carved medallions of the Town Hall (the maison Jayet) dating from the sixteenth century,
- the Musée du Hiéron, dedicated to sacred art and built from the start in 1890 as a museum. The metal framework of the building was inspired by Gustave Eiffel.
- the Musée Paul Charnoz, dedicated to tiles and ceramic art and the importance of this industry to the industrial heritage of the city and Burgundy,
- on the road to Paray le Monial, in Génelard, there is a small museum on the demarcation line (la Ligne de Démarcation) with good documentation and, at Perrecy-les-Forges, the Church with its murals and carved capitals.
- also on the road to Paray le Monial, la Briquetterie, in Ciry-le-Noble, to discover industrial techniques to make tiles at the beginning of XXth century. The site is composed by industrial buildings, scénographic rooms and large pieces of land and grass. It can be visited only in summer.
A little history: the Basilica of Paray le Monial was built at the same time as the great Abbey of Cluny in the twelfth century. It offers the closest idea of what the Abbey at Cluny would have looked like before its destruction. The basilica is one of the most visited places of pilgrimage in France, notably for devotion to the Sacred Heart. Paray le Monial is also known throughout Christianity as the town with two Saints, Marguerite-Marie Alacoque (1647 - 1690) and Claude La Colombière (1641 - 1682), who dedicated themselves to this devotion.