Avoiding the rain clouds, via a very strange SatNav route, we made our way to Paray-le-Monial. It's home to the 12th century basilica. It was a daughter church to the great abbey at Cluny.
The basilica was originally dedicated to the Virgin Mary, but was rededicated to the Sacred Heart.
It's a HUGE pilgrimage site, but I must admit that I found the church to be over-manicured, and curiously soulless.
Inside the church, things have highly restored, but outside things look a little more weathered...
...and you can get a feel of the character of place. It gives rise to an interesting debate about restoration. I'm sure that the interior is probably very close to how it was when it was built, but if returning it to that state removes its soul?
The exterior reminded me of the basilicas we saw in Ravenna.
There is the lovely St Nicholas tower...
....and the fantastic Hotel-de-Ville.
I rather liked this sturdy warrior ( are those breasts under the breastplate?)...
...and these little critters.
I'd like a little 'pencil' tower like this too.