The eternal hill of Vézelay

A walk to the hill of Vézelay in Burgundy.

Vézelay is a village located in Burgundy. It is considered as one of the most beautiful villages of France with its basilica which dominates the whole valley. It is one of the starting points for the pilgrimage towards Saint-Jacques de Compostelle (1920 kms on foot!). The access to Vézelay is not very difficult because the A6 freeway passes to 20 kilometers, there are many free carparks, only the closest to the basilica are paying. You can also take the opportunity to discover the surrounding area, it is possible to practice many activities: mountain biking, hiking, canoeing...

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Duration: 2 h.

Walk around Vézelay

Walk around Vézelay
The visit of Vézelay can be very fast, better to leave your car at the bottom of the village and walk the last meters to appreciate the serenity of the place, there is a path that goes around the hill in 40 minutes.

The basilica

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The basilica
The basilica is considered a masterpiece of Romanesque art.

View on the Burgundy countryside

View on the Burgundy countryside
While going up to Vézelay one can admire a very beautiful panorama on the Burgundian countryside.

La terrasse

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La terrasse
The terrace is located on the former site of the abbots' castle. The parish buildings were sold and razed after the Revolution in 1790.

Statue of Saint Bernard

Statue of Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard was a monk. He summoned all the nobility of France on Easter Day 1146 to Vézelay. That day the nobility and the king will listen to his preaching urging them to leave for the second crusade. They will leave the following year for the Holy Land but the crusade will be a failure.

The basilica

The basilica
In 1840 the basilica is almost in ruins, a reconstruction to save the building will be made by the architect Viollet-le-Duc. Next to the basilica you can visit a museum dedicated to Viollet-le-Duc. Thanks to him the basilica could continue to exist. There is still a monastic community in Vézelay.

The crypt

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The crypt
The crypt contains the relics of Mary Magdalene, it is to see these relics that pilgrims came to Vézelay. It is not known how the relics arrived in this part of Burgundy. The relics are supposed to loosen the tongue of the dumb, give sight to the blind and forgive sins. After the discovery of other relics of Mary Magdalene in Provence the pilgrimage will fall into disuse.

The village of Vézelay

The village of Vézelay
You can walk in the village, there are many restaurants and you will not have problems to eat. The prices are modelled on those of Paris, so they are quite high.

An alley in Vézelay

An alley in Vézelay

The Salt Fountains

The Salt Fountains
From Vézelay you can visit the Salt Fountains, which are ancient springs loaded with salt and gas. The site has been used since the Neolithic period, the Romans built thermal baths there. The visit is paying (5 euros), you can see everything in 30 minutes. The visit is not really worth the detour except if you are passionate.
Departure point (Google Maps)

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