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You stay in Haute-Loire

Le Puy en Velay

Prefecture of the Haute-Loire département, located 630 m above the sea level, Le Puy en Velay is a nice middle-size town (22,000 inhabitants). Heart of a 50,000 inhabitants agglomeration, it is also a commercial, administrative, scholar, cultural and sportive centre.
Le Puy en Velay has always known how to take advantage of its cultural heritage for its development.
Le Puy, previous regional capital of the Velay, has an history closely linked to the Christendom.
All the Middle-Ages long, pilgrimages to the Black Virgin of Le Puy gathered considerable crowds from many places. Popes and kings came for her worship, and pilgrimages started to expand during the 12th century.
The city is overhanged by two Dykes:

  • The Corneille Stone (132 meters high) on which is a statue representing Notre Dame of France. Constructed in 1860, it is 16 meters high and is made of 110 tons of bronze coming from 213 canons token after the Sebastopol battle (Napoleon III).
  • The Aiguille Stone (82 meters high) on which was built the St Michel basilica during the 10th Century by a Bishop named Gothescalk, when he came back from his first pilgrimage to St Jacques de Compostelle.

The city hides a Roman style cathedral, which is among the most visited sanctuaries on the road to St Jacques de Compostelle.
In addition to its cultural heritage, the fame of Le Puy en Velay is linked some products like the lace. Made for centuries, the ancestral techniques have been preserved thanks to the Bobbin Lace Learning Centre. Some other regional products like the green lentil (AOC) and the verbena tea helped as well to build up the reputation of Le Puy en Velay.

In order to prepare your trip, here are some useful links:

Carte de France - Cliquez pour la visionner en grand format click on the map to enlarge it
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