Paray-le-Monial is located in the eastern region of Burgundy, a place famous for its wine production. Considered to be the holy town of Burgundy, Paray-le-Monial is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics who wish to visit the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, where Saint Marguerite-Marie Alacoque was said to have had four visions during which Christ revealed the Sacred Heart to her when she was a nun in the 17th century.
The town's religious associations are especially apparent in its circuit of gothic churches that serve as an example of Burgundian art. The Sacred Heart Basilica itself is notable for being a well conserved 12th century church, a building that is both still intact and an impressive display of Romanesque architecture.
About the Twinning
A twinning agreement was signed in Bethlehem between the then Mayor of Paray-le-Monial, Mr. Jean-Marc Nesme, and the then Mayor of Bethlehem, Mr. Hanna Nasser. After close consultation, both cities agreed to undertake meetings of cultural exchange between the residents of both cities, as well as come together for the international promotion of religious sites. In signing the twinning agreement, both cities expressed their willingness to cooperate in the following areas:
Since the twinning in September 2003, the articles of the agreement have turned into concrete action with Paray-le-Mondial assisting with the Holy Family Hospital and Orphanage in Bethlehem, which renders invaluable services for the Palestinian community. In addition, Paray-le-Mondial has hosted students from Bethlehem to be taught hotel management, while Bethlehem hosted French pilgrims.