Le Puy-en-Velay Travel Guide

  • View of the belfry and dome.
    View of the belfry and dome.
    by pfsmalo
  • The pieta and the
    The pieta and the "pierre des fievres".
    by pfsmalo
  • Things to Do
    by pfsmalo

Le Puy-en-Velay Things to Do


    If you are like me, and enjoy walking the old town's, then when here, head to the Tourist Information centre.They have maps of the Town that will take you past all the important sight's.There is a "standard tour" of 2 hours"The grand tour" of 3 hours"night tour" of 2 hours.The street's are narrow and cobbled, and the homes, the religious site's,...

  • The cathedral of Notre Dame, Le Puy.

    Dates of construction of the cathedral differ from the 10th to the 12th centuries, as it doesn't seem to be noted much anywhere. Although give or take a couple of hundred years doesn't reall matter. It is generally recognised that there has been some form of chapel, pagan or otherwise on this hill since around 430 AD. Given the amount of room on...


    Coming from Clermont-Ferrand, we noticed a pull-off named Du Puy - Polignac. We pulled off to see what was there, and saw a great view of the Le Chateau de Polignac.Wow! Built in between 1385 & 1421, this Chateau was the birthplace of the largest family of Velay.It's located on cliffs 100 m high, making it a fairly impregnable fortress. On the...


    I walked right to the top, and into the statue of St. Joseph.The Statue was approved by Pope Pius X in August of 1908, and was made by Parisian sculptor Debert, and dedicated on April 11, 1910. It's 48 feet high, St. Joseph’s head is just under 8 ft., while his right arm is over 16 ft. St. Joseph’s gaze is directed toward Our Lady of France,...


    Driving around Le Puy en Velay, we were amazed at how many huge religious statue's we saw sitting on volcanic plug's. We weren't sure how to reach St. Joseph, no worries though, all we had to do was keep the Statue in sight!We found a park, and then I did the same, weaving my way through narrow lane-ways until I reached the entrance. This huge...


    This unusual looking Tower certainly grabbed our attention! In the 14th century, this Tower was the former entrance to the "Royal" Town. It was partly demolished in 1850, to make the road wider. You can still see what its actual size was, as it is marked in the pavement.


    After we had viewed the Chapel of St. Clair, we then went for a walk around the outside. This area looks quite Old! There is a small square where there is the old town hall, the monumental stone cross of the 15th century, and a pseudo-Gothic Fountain from the 19th century. There was a nice old house and views of St. Michael, I felt like I had...


    The Chapel of Saint -Clair we came across as we entered the old part of Le-Puy. The Chapel was a small, octagonal building from the 12th century. It is thought the Chapel, which is often known as "The Temple of Diana," may have been the former Chapel of the "Hospital of the Poor." Inside,The Lintel, shows the phase's of the Moon and Sun. As you...


    One of the most visited site's in the Cathedral, is the statue of the Black Virgin. This not the original from 1000 AD, thought to be carved by an Arab craftsman.In 1794, the wooden image was publicly burned on the Place du Martouret. As the statue burned away, a secret door in its back was revealed, the door opened, and a roll of parchment fell...


    This lovely Cathedral that was built in the 11th & 12th centuries, is built in the shape of a Latin Cross. The Cathedral is perched on a volcanic rock named either " Mount Anis or Corneille Rock " and overlook's the city of Le Puy-en-Velay.THE LEGEND OF THIS CATHEDRAL IS.........."In the 8th century, a woman suffering from a fever was inspired by a...


    Rocher Corneille - Statue of Our Lady of France is painted Pink, and can be seen from anywhere in the City. It is located near the historic city centre.Quite a story to how it was built back in 1860!During the Crimean War, 213 gun's from the captured Russian's, were offered by Napoleon III for use in building the Statue of our Lady of France!The...


    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,...

  • Visit the Cathédrale Notre Dame

    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...


    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.


    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...

  • Then, Climb UP the Statue Notre-Dame de...

    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).

  • Climb to the Statue Notre-Dame de France

    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...

  • A feast for the palate. . . .

    Lentilles du PuyLentils 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...


Le Puy-en-Velay Hotels

Le Puy-en-Velay Restaurants

  • Are we in Germany?

    A very wide selection of meat dishes; some French, some German as well as lots of seafood dishes. A busy, bustling place when we were there and the service staff were all very friendly, courteous and helpful with translating the food descriptions to English for us.Th atmosphere was a bit more on the German Brathaus side, very enjoyable.When the...


    Very nicely decorated and with outside patio seating. Small and ethnic north African as well as French dishes. Lentils are one of the area's main staples and they had several variations with dif dishes. Very helpful with our limited French. Fresh, fresh, fresh obviously; and lots of flavor! We had a lamb dish with lentils.....wonderful!! Well...

  • Step Back in Time

    This place looks a bit hokey from the outside -- is it going to be TOO touristy? Well, in a word WHO CARES! The food was terrific.Located in the medieval quarter of Le Puy it delivers both on atmosphere and on cuisine. We had coq au' vin and lamb, and a terrific bottle of 2004 Cahors red, having kept it simple with salads for our entrees. The...


Le Puy-en-Velay Shopping

  • Forgotten things for hikers.

    For those of you leaving Le Puy on the hike towards St Jacques, this little shop, which is on the route can help you with the little things you may have forgotten. All types of spray and powder against mosquitos, bed-bugs etc etc., walking canes and also all-weather capes and pelerines. There are also torches, dry soaps and even gloves.The shop is...


    Many shops sell the local lentils, all at similar prices. Le-Puy is not real touristy, which is a welcome change, so one of the best things to take away is a pound/kilo of the "LENTILLE VERTE du PUY".At the base of the Cathedral, where the restaurants and shops are, you will find several who sell them.

  • Lace and Liqueur

    Pauline has a serious interest in textile crafts, so it was certain that she would want a sample of Le Puy lace. From what I can gather, the lace industry “dentelle” now operates only for the tourist market, but samples are readily purchased. The attached photo is actually a scan of the sample which she purchased. From quite a different shop, I...


Le Puy-en-Velay Local Customs

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    Puy Lentils

    by ATLC Updated Dec 17, 2003

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    Puy-en-Velay is famous for its green lentils.
    I still have the tin with the lentils (never ate them!).
    I did use to make lentil soup quite often but sometimes you'll find these particular lentils mentioned on a fancy restaurant menu and there will only be a sprinkling of them on your plate. The tin says (translated) that the green lentil is possibly the oldest vegetable in the world. This meditarrenean plant was one of the first cultivated by man. It originates from Mesopotamia and at the beginning of Christianity it came to the Puy en Velay region. It's a healthy and gourmet vegetable and the grand chefs unanimously agree on its delicate flavour and is useful in many varied dishes.
    In 1996 the Puy lentil was classified so that you have proof of the original lentil. It can only come from the region of Puy en Velay (Auvergne) where the terrain is volcanic.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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Le Puy-en-Velay Off The Beaten Path

  • Pinatelle du Zouave

    A nice picnic place among giant bonsaisThere are plenty of restaurants in le Puy, but a picnic in the countryside would make the kids happy and you can discover: 1) the wonderful ham, saucisson and cheese from Auvergne, 2) a strange place telling about recent social history of Auvergne, 3) a quiet nice, picnic spot not far from town, and then...

  • Roadside shrine

    We approached Le Puy from the south, on the N88. This is in the Massif Centrale, the large mountainous area occupying the central part of France, so it isn’t surprising that there are high ranges around, or that in winter (as we were) there is snow to be seen on the crests. We were intrigued by seeing a number of these roadside shrines, as shown in...

  • Le Puy-en-Velay Hotels

    2 Hotels in Le Puy-en-Velay

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Le Puy-en-Velay Sports & Outdoors

  • tiabunna's Profile Photo

    Have a day with the dogs

    by tiabunna Updated Nov 29, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This tip is really sequential to the accommodation tip on Les Bastides du Mézenc as it describes the activities after a night's stay there.

    The other guests at Les Bastides had booked for the weekend to learn dog-handling (an essential skill for Airbus Industrie engineers?), so next day before we continued our travels, we joined them in the Mt Mézenc area and watched them begin their first training run of the weekend.

    The huskies were more purebred than the working dogs we had in the Antarctic, which had a very mixed heritage! These were either Alaskan Malamutes (the large shaggy ones) or Siberian Huskies (shorter haired and usually darker). It was interesting to see the different temperaments of the two types, the Alaskans being playful while the Siberians were much more aloof. Before they started off was a scene of pure chaos, as the Alaskans would ‘stir’ the Siberians just when the teams and sleds were being sorted, then try to look innocent! When peace finally descended, they would do it again.

    Finally they were away: I’m not sure who was enjoying it most, the dogs or the drivers! What a feeling of pure nostalgia to watch them all heading off into the Domaine Mt Mézenc.

    Main photo: The dogs are keen to go – they’ll slow later!
    Second photo: Putting the dogs on the traces
    Third photo: Waiting – can we go now?
    Fourth photo: Starting off
    Fifth photo: Finally they’re all away.

    Equipment: Just wear warm gear - the dogs and sleds are supplied!

    The dogs are keen to go ��� they���ll slow later! Putting the dogs on the traces Waiting ��� can we go now? Starting off Finally they���re all away.
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    • Adventure Travel
    • Skiing and Boarding

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Le Puy-en-Velay Favorites

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    Have a look from above before entering...

    by kokoryko Written Mar 1, 2008

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    Favorite thing: If you arrive to Le Puy from North, (Vichy, Clermont Ferrand, Ambert. . . ) on Route Nationale 102, just when the road goes down to the valley, already in suburbs, two km before city centre, park on the right side of the road (there are parking places) to have an overview of the old city and the surroundings.
    On the main picture you look at Le Puy from North, and the most prominent landmark is the Rocher Corneille, with the huge Notre Dame de France statue on top. Right is the cathedral with its high bell tower and the cupola; left you can see the Rocher de l’Aiguilhe, with the small St Michel chapel. The old city is located mainly south (right) and east (behind) of the cathedral.
    From that spot you also can see the statue of St Joseph, (second picture), in Espaly; all religious landmarks look HUGE here!
    Picture 3 displays Notre Dame de France (Be prepared to see her several times in this page! Hahaha), picture 4, the cathedral with its cupola and bell tower, and again St Joseph on picture 5.
    The overlook here gives an idea of religious importance in this city and . . . . prepares you to walk up and down, on steep streets and hundreds of stairs if you visit the old city.

    View from North St Joseph Notre Dame de France Cathedral Notre Dame St Joseph
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    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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