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Paray-le-Monial is a French commune located in the Saône-et-Loire department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. It is nicknamed the city "of the Sacred Heart".



Paray-le-Monial has a Tourist Office. The city is classified as a city of art and history. It is also a Flower City awarded four flowers.

There are eight hotels in Paray-le-Monial, three of which have two stars (133 rooms), three have three stars (88 rooms) and two are not classified (111 rooms). A four-star campsite offers 157 places. In neighboring municipalities, there are other hotels and accommodation possibilities (bed and breakfast, camping).

Sports facilities include a nautical center (indoor swimming pool for winter and a nautical center in summer).

Places and monuments
Among the most important monuments we find:
Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paray-le-Monial
The narthex dates from the end of the 11th century, and the church dates from the 12th - 14th, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, and is the best preserved model of Cluniac architecture in Burgundy. The church was built in the 12th century by Hugues de Semur, the most important of the abbots of Cluny. The cloister is attached to the basilica and has a medieval-inspired garden. An association, the Friends of the Basilica of Paray-le-Monial, aims to promote the basilica and more generally Romanesque art, in particular by organizing a conference each year in October.

the Château du Doyenné;
the town hall, housed in the old Jayet house, has a Renaissance-style facade built between 1525 and 1528 and clad to older structures. The facade consists, vertically, of seven successive decorative bands, which reveal numerous sculpted medallions, in particular the portraits of Pierre Jayet and his wife. The balusters above the door, the decorative shells and the musicians' putti are influenced by Italian art;
the chapel of the monastery of the Visitation, built in 1633, known as the Chapel of the Apparitions. It is in this place that the visitandine Saint Marguerite-Marie received the Apparitions of the Heart of Jesus between 1673 and 1675;
the Saint-Nicolas tower (16th century), a former parish church consecrated in 1535. A massive bell tower was added around 1549. The turret, perched corbelled on the gable, bears the 1658 vintage. It was reduced to its current volume in the 19th century century. Over time, it has experienced various functions such as prison, guardhouse or common house. Transformed into a town hall during the Revolution, until 1858, it now houses exhibitions;
the Eucharistic Museum of Hiéron, classified museum of France. This museum is the oldest museum of sacred art in France built as such. It was built in the 19th century on the initiative of the Jesuit Victor Drevon (1820-1880) and Baron Alexis de Sarachaga (1840-1918). Closed during the 1990s, the museum was completely renovated by the municipality and reopened in 2005. Today it presents a rich collection of works of art around the theme of the Eucharist: paintings, sculptures, liturgical objects… A national treasure has come to enrich its collections: the Via Vitae or “Chemin de vie” (1894-1904) by the Parisian silversmith Joseph Chaumet;
the covered market, a monument dating from the beginning of the 20th century, transformed into a shopping arcade. The construction of the covered market, completed in 1901, is due to Benoît Crétin, mayor. The market is 37 meters long and 11 wide. It consists of eight metal trusses which rest on cast iron columns;
several convents: the monastery of the Visitation founded in 1626, the monastery of St. Clare founded in 1878, the Carmel founded in 1901 and the monastery of the Most Holy Rosary, founded in 1929, welcoming a community of Dominican nuns affiliated to the federation Our Lady of the Preachers;
la Colombière chapel: this Jesuit chapel, listed as a Historic Monument in 2012, houses the relics of Saint Claude La Colombière, spiritual director of Saint Marguerite-Marie. It was erected in 1929 by the Jesuits shortly after the beatification of Father La Colombière. Simple in appearance, it is enriched inside by mosaics and stained glass windows made by the Mauméjean brothers. The capitals are by Henri Charlier. This chapel has the particularity of having an organ;
the Paul-Charnoz museum, known as the “ceramic museum”, brings together vestiges and testimonies on the industrial ceramics activity of Paray-le-Monial. A fresco and a monumental rose window are presented there, jewels of French industrial and decorative ceramics, made in tiles designed by inlay, Gold Medal and Hors Concours at the Universal Exhibitions of Paris in 1889 and 1900;
the Contemporary Mosaic House: a cultural place open to all, exhibitions follow one another throughout the year. A video "The Mosaic ... what a story!" »Traces the history of mosaics, explains tools, materials and techniques and describes various aspects of contemporary mosaic;

the Notre-Dame priory, listed as a historic monument.

The town also has several gardens and parks:
the cloister garden: it is located in the old monastery which accommodated the Cluniac monks until the Revolution. The façade of the priory presents the characteristics of classical art from the 17th and 18th centuries: triangular pediment with the Cluny coat of arms, dormers, griffins and vintage cartouches. The large ribbed vaulted galleries offered the monks a space for prayer, meditation and work. In the center, the garden recalls the allure of medieval gardens;
the Moulin Liron park: located between the Canal du Center and the Bourbince, the park takes its name from an old mill known since the sixteenth century. In the eighteenth century it became a renowned “hostelry”, destroyed during the construction of the Canal du Center. The 15 ha park. was created for the arrival of Pope John Paul II in 1986. Today nearly 850 trees and conifers line the one kilometer promenade. It includes a fitness trail and is located at the start of the greenway which runs along the Bourbince, offering a natural and unspoiled setting;
the Parc des Chapelains: in 1889, the Maison des Chapelains was installed on the foundations of the former castle of the abbots of Cluny. The park was created to accommodate pilgrims since the bicentenary of the Apparitions in 1875. In 1890, two paths of plane trees were planted to form a cross and create a veritable cathedral of greenery. Around 1902, a dome was erected in its center, where the festivals are still celebrated. This space of nature and silence is on the east side of the basilica;
the Saint-Hugues garden: it hosts more than 500 rose bushes, in bloom from May until frost;
the park of Verneuil: this park welcomes under its foliage white flowers in all seasons and is bordered by plane trees which form a majestic vault, often compared to a vegetal cathedral;
the square of 19-March-1962: this square is decorated with a mosaic commissioned in 1997 by the city from members of the Paul Charnoz association. This wall decoration, made up of 165,141 ceramic stoneware tiles, presents the architectural, industrial and economic heritage of the city: Saint-Nicolas tower, railway, canal, basilica, town hall, ceramic industry and Charolais breeding;
the post office garden: in this small garden sits a mosaic representing a peacock made in 2008 by “Mozaïsm”, a group of young international artists. The peacock has long been the emblem of the city;
the garden on the banks of the Bourbince: this garden, planted with various white flowering shrubs, offers a new view of the basilica. Each summer the different varieties of plants used for the flowering of the city are presented there;
the Émile-Debroise garden: this garden of peonies, shrubs, hybrids or herbs, is dedicated to Emile Debroise (1902-1992);
Bellevue gardens and PLM cities: PLM cities, the first collective housing, marked the history of the city. Located at the heart of this 1930s architecture, this "Garden Garden" is inspired by the railway gardens of yesteryear or the allotment gardens nearby. Each garden is associated with a color that gives it its identity: yellow, red, peach / cream, orange, mauve, pink, purple, blue and white. Each entrance is marked by a pergola dressed in climbing plants which “announce the color”.

In the 17th century, Christ is said to have appeared to a nun, Marguerite-Marie Alacoque, born in a surrounding village and a nun in the monastery of the Visitation. During three great apparitions, he would have presented his heart to her "Here is this heart which has loved men so much and which receives in exchange only ingratitudes from those who are consecrated to it". Very quickly, Marguerite-Marie received the support and spiritual advice of a Jesuit, Claude La Colombière. From Paray-le-Monial, was born a gigantic devotion, called the cult of the Sacred Heart. Pilgrimages are born in Paray-Le-Monial and shrines are built all over the world, the most famous (in France) being the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Montmartre.

This pilgrimage, which had seemed to fall into relative oblivion, is a great success. The charismatic renewal made its first session there in 1975 which was continued by numerous meetings animated by the Emmanuel community, including the organization of two Christian festivals of international level in 1987 and 1988. Pope John Paul II came there on pilgrimage on October 5, 1986. In 1986, Mgr Armand Le Bourgeois, Bishop of Autun, entrusted the care of this place to the Emmanuel Community. The number of pilgrims continues to grow and gatherings follow one another during the summer but also throughout the year.

In 2016, around 30,000 pilgrims were welcomed at Paray le Monial.


It was after coming to Paray-le-Monial in 1989 that Cyprien and Daphrose Rugamba decided to create the Emmanuel community in Rwanda.



The origins
In all likelihood, Paray-le-Monial finds its origins in the construction at the top of a hill (the current district of Survaux), in a bushy valley then called "Val d'Or", of a priory and a church consecrated in 977. This construction was planned around 971 by Count Lambert, first hereditary count of Châlon-sur-Saône, son of Robert, viscount of Autun and faithful to King Charles the Simple, in agreement with Saint Maïeul, Abbot of Cluny until 994, in "recognition of the blessings of God towards him".

His son Hugues I of Chalon, canon of Autun, who became count of Châlon-sur-Saône in 988, donated this Foundation to the abbey of Cluny in 999 when he was consecrated bishop of Auxerre.

Subsequently, Saint Odilon, who was abbot of Cluny until 1049, established the monks on the banks of the Bourbince where they built a new church. His successor, Hugues de Semur, abbot of Cluny from 1049 to 1109, who had a new abbey church built in Cluny (Cluny III), judging it insufficient at the time, had it transformed by the builders of Cluny III into a basilica which is the one that we can admire nowadays.

It is probable that the sites initiated by the monks at this time attracted the populations of the surrounding hills and that the regrouping of these two communities was at the origin of the parodian agglomeration.


Production of ceramic tiles

In 1877, Paul Charnoz, chemical engineer, created a ceramic production company in Paray-le-Monial. Born in 1845, married in 1872, he previously worked for his father in Dresden (Saxony). He chooses Paray-le-Monial because he finds the city welcoming but above all because of the high quality clay quarries located nearby. The sources of energy are also close with the mines of Montceau-les-Mines. The waterways (central canal) and the railway provide transport. Paul Charnoz has developed tiles designed by incrustation in the thickness (therefore not only painted on the surface). In 1886, about fifty people worked in the company But the lack of profitability led, in 1891, to sell the company to the company Utzscheinder-Jaunez. This new owner develops the company by industrializing it.

During the First World War the situation became difficult. The production is oriented towards the needs of national defense. After the war, business is going well, six factories are operating. In 1921, the company took the name of CERABATI (Entreprise Générale de la Céramique du Bâtiment). The second war brought about significant difficulties but the company set out again and, in 1950, it reached its maximum, employing around 900 people. Technical developments followed with the mechanization of workshops, with electric ovens replacing coal ovens; they ensure good financial health through the agency. The difficulties began in 1976, with the increase in the price of energy and declining demand. At the start of the 1990s, Paray-Céramique took the place of CERABATI. As of December 31, 2005, the activity ended.

The Paul Charnoz Museum, created in 1993, presents the history of Paul Charnoz and the company.

The former offices of Cerabati house the M’comme mosaic association, a place of exhibition and training in contemporary mosaic.


Development zones

In Paray le Monial, the business park in the north of the town includes several sectors: that of Charmes located in the ZAC des Charmes and on the extension of the ZAC des Charmes; the Champ Bossu sector, located on the ZAC extension of Champ Bossu.

The Charmes concerted development zone is a mixed development operation (individual housing, economic and commercial activity, Hospital sector). launched in 1998 by the town of Paray-le-Monial and granted to the SEMA (mixed development company). It aims on 20.5 hectares to establish a hospital center (72,600 m2), commercial activities (92,760 m2, housing (45,600 m2)).

The Champ Bossu extension was implemented in 2000. This new development operation for economic and commercial activity covers 8.89 ha (construction of approximately 38,500 square meters). This transaction is granted by the municipality of Paray-le-Monial to SEMA.

The extension of the initial zone of began in 2003 (expected end of 2025). It concerns 17 ha (habitat and activity).