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How I wished I hadn't worn myself out!
I wanted to climb the 268 step's, but was too weary after climbing many hundred other step's to religious monument's earlier in the day, so I guess this is a warning. They say the steps are wide and in good order, and that there are resting places along the way.
You can't miss seeing the Chapel from the outside, as it is perched on a Volanic Balsat Pinnacle shaped like a needle, that is 260 feet high!
Just from the outside, I had to marvel at how they built this Chapel in 962, really, an outstanding feat! It was enlarged in the 12th century.
The Romans dedicated it to Mercury, the messenger god with winged shoes, before the Christians built a chapel and consecrated it to St. Michael, the Arch Angel, who is the patron of many high places throughout Europe.
Three great stones incorporated into St. Michael's Chapel, are thought to be the remains of a prehistoric dolmen built at the top.
The bell tower fell down in 1275 and was reconstructed in the 19th century.
Around 1850, when plaster was removed, 10th and 12th-century frescoes were found, and in 1955, archaeologists discovered a treasure trove of sacred objects in the altar, which are now displayed behind an iron grate in the wall.
Legend has it that Joan of Arc's mother made a pilgrimage here in the early 15th century to pray for her daughter.
If you do manage the climb, expect a good wide path around the church and sweeping views of Le Puy, the cathedral, and the surrounding countryside.
There is a lot of information and photo's on the website.
Written Dec 11, 2011
Address: In the main part of town
As you puff up the hill, eventually you will find yourself at the Cathédrale Notre Dame, at the top of rue des Tables. It is mainly of Romanesque form with Byzantine additions, making it a considerable contrast in style to the better known Gothic cathedrals. As it is built largely from dark volcanic rock, we found the interior rather gloomy, but it is quite a spectacular and different structure in its own right. I’d suggest you will obtain the best photo from up toward the Pink Madonna.
The main point of fame for this cathedral is that it houses a Black Madonna. That’s it in the second photo accompanying this tip (sorry about the quality). As can be seen, it is not large. I gather that the original was destroyed in the Revolution and that the one now on display is a replica. Please don’t ask me about its significance, that isn’t my territory. :)) Update: my VT friend lynnehamman has found more information at this web address - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black Madonna . Suffice to say that, if you’re a Black Madonna enthusiast, there’s one here.
Main photo: Cathédrale Notre Dame and the rooftops of Le Puy
Second photo: The Black Madonna of Le Puy
Updated Feb 5, 2010
Address: rue des Tables, Le Puy
Another worthwhile climb in Le-Puy! In one of the photos, part way up, in the distance see the Statue of Notre-Dame de France. Beautiful views of course from here, too.
Much to see inside, and there are more photos in the Travelogue below.
Written Jul 13, 2009
This Cathedral is a national monument of France, and has been a centre of pilgrimage in its own right since before the time of Charlemagne, as well as forming part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Since 1998 it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the "Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France".
It forms the highest point of the city, rising from the foot of the Rocher Corneille, and contains architecture of every period from the fifth century to the fifteenth. However, most of the construction dates from the first half of the 12th century.
We spent several hours wandering through many of the nooks as well as the climb up to the Statue and also INTO the Statue (see other Tips). For many other photos see the TRAVLOGUE.
Updated Jul 13, 2009
If you need more excersize, you are allowed to actually climb up into the Statue, which has several viewpoints along the way, thru small windows.
The statue is 16 meters high and weighs 110 tons. The statue is made up of 105 bolted on pieces, which are visible from inside (see photos).
Written Jul 13, 2009
The bronze statue of Notre-Dame de France stands on top of the Corneille Rock, and is made from 213 Russian cannons taken in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855). It was presented to the town on the 12th of September 1860.
The initial approach is via the Cathedral. It is a reasonably easy ascent, with many places to stop and rest and view the countryside. There are also benchs, toilets and fountains on the way up.
Updated Jul 13, 2009
Phone: 04 71 09 38 41
Lentilles du Puy
Lentils are quite a common vegetable, which you can find almost everywhere on the planet, with thousands of recipes to prepare these little seeds for the enjoyment of our palate. . . . I had recently wonderful dals in India; I like lentils in almost every way (soups, salads, cooked with smoked pork loin, etc. . . . . ), but there are lots of varieties of lentils and the “Lentille Verte du Puy” is to lentils what “Chateau Lascombes” (a Margaux, Medoc wine) is to red wine: the nec plus ultra!
The lentille Verte du Puy (The Green Lentil of Le Puy) is grown is a very small area around Le Puy, on volcanic soils, without fertilizers, and benefits of a special label in France, an “appellation contrôlée”, and not all green lentils are from Le Puy. Regulations are very strict to get this label. These lentils have a very thin skin, are soft and sweet, a very special earth flavour, hazelnut perfume, and just as salad with onions and garlic they are the best for me.
On the main picture they are displayed in the gift shop in Chavaniac’s castle, but in Le Puy area, you can find them in supermarkets, and in good groceries elsewhere in France.
This lentil has an official website (and an English version), where you may learn a lot more and even download recipes!
The second picture shows blonde lentils and green lentils; easy to make a difference!
Updated May 28, 2008
The Vibert Fountain
Leave a little bit the catholic atmosphere and walk around the old city; on Boulevard Carnot, on the west side you will find this small fountain and the statue decorating it on top.
I did not find information about this little fountain, it is just nice, I like this . . . euh. . . shepherdess ( ? she leans on a billy goat), siren (?) , well, young woman above the strange fishes spitting the water of the fountain. Enough of Holy Mary, this is beautiful too! And near the shades of the linden trees, just enjoy and relax after the walk in the steep streets of Le Puy! Ah don’t drink the water.
Written Mar 1, 2008
Le Puy is a catholic city, but there are some iconoclasts who manage to acquire crucifixes by dozens and sell them to the tourists; if you want to decorate your house, or just make a small gift, it might be an idea for shopping. . . Well, not me, but watch out, there could be real antiques among these little things.
There are antique shops in Le Puy, but I did not visit till now.
Written Mar 1, 2008
There is too much to see in Le Puy. . . well, beauty is never too much, but there are lots of other churches to visit, and also, when you walk in the streets you will see remains of the ramparts, beautiful “hotels particuliers” (mansions), mainly of renaissance style, little towers. . . What I like is a bit the austere style of the buildings, not a lot of colours or paints; the shapes, the texture of the volcanic stones give a special cachet to the buildings. . . What to do? Walk and keep the eyes open, every time I come to Le Puy, I discover something new.
Main picture is Tour Panessac, a tower which guarded the western entrance of the old city.
On the second and third pictures is Chapelle St Clair, located at the foot of the Aiguilhe Rock a little chapel where the different volcanic rocks used to build it really give a special style to this building.
There are beautifully carved doors at entrances of schools, convents, or other institutions, like on fourth picture,
And I like this 17th century very classical house, on Place du Greffe (Picture 5), this luminous façade, the high windows. . . nothing really special, just nice on the little place with the trees. Ah, the sign says it has been sold. . . . . I’ll try next time. . . . .
Updated Mar 1, 2008
1 Review and 28 Opinions While we were only here for one night, the room was quite comfortable. We had a great view from the...