Located in a nature preserve,Paray-le-Monial is a major heritage site worth discovering. The cobbled streets of its historic centre recall the city’s medieval past. A pleasant stroll links the romanesque Basilica (a masterpiece of Cluny-inspired architecture) to the Hôtel de Ville (city hall), located in a fine 16th-century town-house.
The Musée du Hiéron welcomes visitors to its majestic, 19th-century iron building, which traces two millennia of the history of Christianity through outstanding artworks. Meanwhile, the Musée de Carrelage Céramique d'Art Paul Charnoz (the Paul Charnoz Ceramic Tile Museum) retraces Paray’s human and industrial history.
The Cité du Sacré-Cœur (Sacred Heart Complex) invites believers and non-believers to share the spiritual awareness conveyed by its chapels and its relics of Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque and Saint Claude La Colombière.
- Guided tours
A classic tour of the town would start by discovering the Basilica and its courtyards, then moving on to a parcours commenté (group walk) through the town including stops at the chapels of Apparitions and Colombiére, the Renaissance town hall and the tower of Saint Nicolas.
In terms of its 2hrs, the tour could be lengthened with a guided tour of the Muséee Eucharistique du Hiéron (Holy Communion Museum) or the Musée de Carrelage Céramique d'Art Paul Charnoz****.
Burgundy offers a wide network of unique cycle paths and country green-way paths available in France. There are 5 major routes to take to truly be able to savour the "Tour de Bourgogne à Vélo" (Tour of Burgundy): la Voie Verte en Bourgogne, le Canal du Centre, le Canal du Nivernais, le Canal de Bourgogne and la Voie de Vignes.
Since then, Paray-le-Monial has taken the old towpath along the Canal du Centre and fitted it out as a long green-way. Perfect for cycling! Leave the Tourism Office on your bike and head to out to discover the canal bridge at Digoin, then continue alongside the canal in the direction of la Loire until you reach Bourbon-Lancy.
Here are some suggestions from the Tourism Office for activities perfect for everyone, great and small.
- For families: Go for a ride on a Rosalie (4 person, pedal powered buggy) with the monk Theophilus to discover the town's history.
- For those who don't want to miss a thing: Then the city's Passport is made for you! It gives you access to all of the city's major sites including the Musée Paul Charnoz, a tour of the Basilica, its coutryards and the town.
- For those more who are more nocturnal: The lively and playful night tours force you to discover the secrets of the medieval town under torch light.
Here are some of the local specialities that are sure to satisfy your taste buds:
- Le Caviar de Paray: a local traditional preparation of escargot.
- Le Cacou: a cherry cake similar in style to a clafoutis.
- Les Douceurs de Paray: varied terrines with special Burgundian tastes.
Getting to Paray-le-Monial
- By car
- From Paris or Lyon, take the A6 until Exit Chalon or Mâcon, then take the E62 towards Montluçon-Digoin.
- By train (SNCF)
-TGV service from Paris to Le Creusot (1h30), then change for the SNCF shuttle to Paray-le-Monial (45mins)
-Paris to Paray-le-Monial (via Moulins)
-Lyon to Paray-le-Monial: TER direct (2h)
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville
Tel: +33 (0) 3 85 81 95 00