An important place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages and a stop along the Way of St. James, the famous Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay stands on the hill of this pretty village in Yonne, Burgundy.
Arriving in Vézelay is always a thrilling experience: in this timeless environment, steep side streets, Romanesque houses and mighty ramparts can all be seen on a stroll along the wall-walk.
A masterpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art and a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site, Vézelay Basilica, a former abbey church originating in the 9th century, was saved from ruin in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc. The architectural ensemble that it presents to us today is most remarkable: a central portal with an exceptional tympanum; a bright nave of majestic proportions, decorated with a hundred superb carved capitals; and in response to the Romanesque elements, a transept and choir in the Gothic style. Under the choir lies a very old crypt dating back to the Carolingian era. The basilica can be independently explored with an audioguide, or seen on a guided tour.
Beforehand, the Interpretation Centre - Visitors' House, halfway up the hill to the basilica, has films and scale models so you can prepare for visiting Vézelay's famous monument.
Another sight to see is the museum about the work of Viollet-le-Duc on Place du Cloître, with its many sculptures from the basilica.
Before leaving the village, don't forget to visit the castle terrace behind the basilica. This pleasant, shaded esplanade offers a magnificent view of the Cure Valley and Morvan!
|Opening times||Monday: 07:00 – 20:00 • Tuesday: 07:00 – 20:00 • Wednesday: 07:00 – 20:00 • Thursday: 07:00 – 20:00 • Friday: 07:00 – 20:00 • Saturday: 07:00 – 20:00 • Sunday: 07:00 – 20:00|
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