Vezelay is a unique place in the world, full of charm that has a rich collection of works of art and history related to spirituality. The city was home to some famous writers such as Jules-Roy and Romain-Rolland. His story is related to religion.
History of Vezelay
Since the Middle Ages, the existence of the abbey Sainte Marie-Madeleine was the source that formed this small village. Around 858, under the direction of Count Girard de Roussillon, Benedictine communities were established on the hill of Saint-Père. At the base, it was the women, that is to say the nuns who benefited from the monastery. With the arrival of the Normans, this is over ten years later. And the monks settled on another hill. As a result, these Normans destroyed the village. Even if the case arose, the various reconstructions from the year 1037 have continued the development of the city. Hence the importance of the three crusades (in 1096, in 1146 and in 1190). They influenced the vision of things so that it remains one of the high places of Christendom. On the other hand, the quarrels opposing the abbots, plus the problems of the inhabitants due to taxes. Then the pilgrims break away and the abbey goes out. Vezelay witnessed the wars of religion between Protestantism and Catholicism. Despite the fact that it was a place of pilgrimage. Theodore Beze has known how to make the city among those who practice Protestant worship. January 1696, Vauban wrote a memoir on the geographical description of the election of Vezelay.
On this, Vezelay is described as a "rough, dry and stony country, which yields only very mediocre wine and little wheat". Unfortunately, the city is becoming weaker: lost municipal privileges, decreasing population. A key man in the restoration of Saint Madeleine's relics was Viollet-le-Duc. After his effort, local authorities are moving towards the renaissance that has always distinguished Vezelay. In particular the restoration of the pilgrimage and the feast day of Saint Madeleine. In 1919, a cultural strategy of 25 years was launched by the priest Despiney to promote Vezelay. The security of the city is strengthened throughout history: first in 1150, the door of St. Croix is built with 2,000 meters curtain. Then, a strengthening of the wall with round towers with counterweights is realized in 1360. Finally, the constitution of a new door named the new door is made towards the end of XVe century. With our driver-guide, you will be able to make so many historical visits.
Vezelay is a village built on the hill called "the eternal hill" or "the Hill where the Spirit breathes". According to the statistics given by the Cassini database of the EHESS and the INSEE database, the municipality had 435 inhabitants in 2014. On this day, there may be around 500 inhabitants. This explains that Vezelay is a small town. However, it is really a tourist attraction. Not only many pilgrims come to gather in the Romanesque basilica Sainte-Marie-Madeleine. But it is also the departure to the road to Santiago de Compostela. To access the part enclosed by the walls of the fourteenth century, you can choose between the new door or the Holy Cross. Since the streets are narrow, the visits are done on foot. Cars must be left below. Two large outdoor parking spaces have been specially developed. You will live an authentic atmosphere both quiet and friendly. Vezelay is today a medieval village full of history: historical monuments, Romanesque houses, stone facades and paved alleys. Various musical and artistic encounters are waiting for you in this city. In addition, there is a wine that bears his name, Vezelay (AOC). Be aware that this is a 100% white wine. Note that the Vezelay vineyard produces light red wines. The city has been a World Heritage Site by UNESCO for a long time. Do not hesitate to contact us to book one of our pick-ups.
What to visit in Vezelay?
The basilica of Vezelay
An exceptional building at the top of the hill. Built between 1120 and 1150, it was restored several times and even until now. The basilica of Vezelay is dedicated to Saint Mary Magdalene. It stands out thanks to its Romanesque architecture and its bright interior. In addition, it is a living religious community, because three times a day, it begins liturgical songs.
Known as the former residence of Romain Rolland, the museum exhibits the modern art of Christian Zervos' Cahiers d'Art from 1926 to 1960. This renovated house allows you to discover the greatest artists of the twentieth century, citing the works of Picasso , Giacometti's sculptures, Kandinsky's paintings, Léger's first mural at Vezelay. You can appreciate its vaulted medieval spaces and its terrace opening onto the Morvan.
Generally, the house of Romain-Rolland reminds us of the Zervos Museum because it is now transformed into this museum. Regarding Romain-Rolland, he was born in 1866 in Clamecy. He is a famous writer who highlights the analyzes of the human and social soul. Indeed, his works are exhibited and his room.
The visitor's house of Vezelay
The visitor's house of Vezelay is a non-profit organization that aims to unveil the secrets of the construction of the basilica and its little anecdotes. It is located in the heart of the city, precisely halfway up the rise in this high place. Enjoy a deserved break to discover art with experienced guides and especially through workshops and films
Want a nice discovery of Vezelay otherwise? A large leisure park is located in the Holy Father Street Gravel. Their team offers a multitude of activities in the wilderness, such as canoeing, white water rafting (they are aquatic activities in the cure). There are Avallon adventure courses, paintball, segway, hot air balloon, quad / karting, survival, orientation, etc. You will have a wide choice according to your desire and age range.
Morvan Canoe Kayak (canoeing kayak raft Saint father under Vezelay)
Always at the same address as AB leisures, a river of navigation is at your disposal. In order to push the adrenaline, we advise you to visit differently. That is to say by canoe kayak, you will discover the valley of the cure which is at the right foot of Vezelay. The club will allow you to rent kayaks solo or binomial. It will be a memorable moment for family, groups of friends, why not for work colleagues? If necessary, we can provide a day rental service.
Request a car service at Paris airport to go to Vezelay
Vezelay, one of the "most beautiful villages in France", is located in the department of Yonne in the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region. It is 62.7 km from Guédelon and 60 km from Any-le-Franc castle. FYI, the distance between Vezelay CDG Airport is 251 km and Beauvais Airport is 314 km