Le Puy-en-Velay

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Le Puy-en-Velay
is special

Le Puy-en-Velay is a major pilgrimage town with a dramatic landscape of volcano-core spires.

Le Puy-en-Velay
tips and insights


A 10th century chapel spectacularly perches on one of the rocky spires (see photo). Visiting it requires climbing over 200 steep, somewhat precarious steps.

The other outcropping

The town's other volcanic outcropping is crowned with a 22-meter (72-foot) high red Madonna statue. There is nothing outstanding about it except for its size and the panoramic view from its platform.


Le Puy-en-Velay is the starting point of the popular 1600 kilometer (1000 mile)
walking pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Blessing ritual

Participants walk up from the town to Le Puy-en-Velay's 12th century Romanesque cathedral for a blessing that will send them on their arduous journey

Black Virgin statue

The cathedral's main attraction is its Black Virgin statue (the hue developed as the wood aged).

Local products

The area's best known products are locally grown green lentils, hand-made lace, and a digestive liqueur named "Verveine Verte".

Location in France

Learn my other
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