Tour Saint-Nicolas, South View Saint Nicolas Tower
Cioffi, Paul L., 1928-2004
The present-day Tour Saint-Nicolas is actually what remains of a 16th C. church building: a square bell tower and a portion of the nave. Built originally to serve people of Paray-le-Monial as a parish church, Saint-Nicolas was consecrated in 1535.During the French Revolution (1789-1799) the church was converted to a city hall (Hôtel de Ville); from that time forward it has served secular purposes. In 1792 , the space inside the tall nave area was altered to better accommodate community functions by adding an intermediate floor. To access the new floor, a sweeping double staircase was added to the north face of the building and doorways were created using the lower portions of the double lancet window frames. However, in 1858 city hall was moved to the Maison Jayet, a magnificent structure built as a home for the wealthy cloth merchant Pierre Jayet (ca. 1525-1528) in the Italian Renaissance style. After this change, the Tour Saint-Nicolas was reduced to its present size.The building was restored in 1973 when Paray-le-Monial marked its millennium as a town; the north stairway was reconstructed in 1976 (apparently indoors). It is now the site of various cultural exhibitions.August 1981
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