Basilica of Paray-le-Monial, Paray Le Monial

Church · Tourist Spot
The Basilica of Paray-le-Monial is a Romanesque church in Paray-le-Monial, Bourgogne, eastern France. Built from the 12th century, on the site of a 10th-century monastery founded by count Lambert of Chalon, it was a small-scale version of the Abbey of Cluny. It was completed in the 14th century, although some sections were added in the 18th century or renovated in the 19th century. As a priory, it was under the authority of Cluny and was a popular pilgrimage site.
The church has a rather short nave and two aisles, crossed by a single-nave transept. The choir includes a semicircular apse with an ambulatory, and three radial chapels. The edifice has an overall length of 63.5 meters, including the vestibule and the eastern chapel, and a width of 22.35 m.
The nave (which is 22 m tall) and the aisles are covered by ogival barrel vaults, with, internally, the use of different height levels which was typical of Romanesque architecture. It has pre-Gothic pillars, a blind tribune and a clerestory with small windows. The capitals of the columns are generally decorated with vegetable motifs, although some feature depictions of animals or other figures. The choir houses a 14th-century fresco, rediscovered in 1935.
The exterior has a sober appearance, with massive walls. The few decorations include the portal of the transept's left arm, with flower and geometrical motifs. The crossing is surmounted by a tower with an elevation of 56 m; two smaller towers are also at the sides of the main facade.
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  • Paray Le Monial is a lovely little town to walk around and explore and the Basilica is no exception!  more »
  • The Basilica was built by the monks of Cluny and very sensitively restored in the 19th Century. It is a wonderful and memorable example of sublime romanesque architecture, complemented by some...  more »
  • This is my third visit to the Basilica and it never disappoints. Grounds are stunning, the town is clean and welcoming and the people are more than friendly and helpful  more »

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