Testimony to a rich history and a spiritual heritage of extraordinary significance, the Basilica of St.Magdalene, perched on the top of Burgundy’s “eternal hill”, dominates a picturesque village that has kept its ramparts, its gates and its parapets.
With the relics of Mary Magdalene, in the 11th century Vezelay became one of the most important holy places of the Christian world and a departure point for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostella. The basilica, with its perfect proportions is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture.
As you enter the church, you are immediately struck by the astonishing light which gives the building its unfathomable depth. The beauty and the meaning of the sculptured capitals and the three tympanums are quite unique.
Vezelay, classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is a living shrine and attracts pilgrims, artists and visitors from all over the world.
The medieval village stages on one side of the hill, such a stony setting extending towards its jewel…the Basilica. Wandering through its narrow, winding alleys along old houses built over huge cellars, visitors will initiate on understanding the mystery of Vezelay.
Romanesque houses stand side by side with Renaissance dwellings and 17th and 18th century buildings.
A visit to the terrace situated at the head of the basilica unveils further treasures : the ramparts encircling the town and a huge panoramic view intersected by the valley of Cure with gently sloping chalky hills to the North and the wooded heights of the Morvan to the South.
Other visits in Vezelay : Maison Jules Roy (writer’s house) – Maison du Visiteur (scenographic visit and a scale model of the basilica) - Musée de l’Oeuvre Viollet-le-Duc (Medieval sculptures)- Musée Zervos (modern art collection) - Maison de Christian et Yvonne Zervos (modern art exhibitions in summer)
Guided visits of the village and the basilica for groups all year round on reservation Guided visits of the basilica for individuals in july and august, by students guides of CASA from 10.am to 12.am and from 3.pm to 5.pm.(except on thursday), by a sister or a brother of Jérusalem, every day at 2.30 pm (except on Monday) and on thursday at 11.am Guided visits of the village for individuals with a wine tasting in july and august, on Friday and/or on Saturday at 6.pm (duration 1h 30)