Vézelay Things to Do

  • The basilica at Vezelay
    The basilica at Vezelay
    by Beausoleil
  • Carvings over the door
    Carvings over the door
    by Beausoleil
  • Basilique at Vezelay
    Basilique at Vezelay
    by Beausoleil

Best Rated Things to Do in Vézelay

  • piccolina's Profile Photo

    The Benedictine abbey of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine

    by piccolina Written Apr 7, 2005

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Is one of the most important monuments of architecture and sculpture of the Romanesque period. It was a pilgrimage church in its own right, allegedly holding the relics of St. Mary Magdalen to whom it is dedicated, and it also stood at the beginning of one of the four major routes through France for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia

    Was this review helpful?

  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    The view from the park

    by ATLC Written Dec 16, 2003

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It's a bit of a climb along the main street of Vezelay but after reaching St. Madeleine's church it is a nice rest in the park behind it, at the highest part of the hill.
    The view is spectacular! You just can't stop making photo's even though it is near impossible to catch the image with an ordinary camera. We were lucky that the rain had stopped.

    VIEW FROM VEZELAY
    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    The park

    by ATLC Written Dec 16, 2003

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Luscious green and I was lucky enough to catch it almost empty of people. You can walk all the way along the rim of the hill and enjoy spectacular views all round from the chalky hills to the north, and the vally Cure, to the great forests of the Morvan to the south.

    VEZELAY PARK
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ViajesdelMundo's Profile Photo

    Picnics, Enjoy the Spacious Grounds

    by ViajesdelMundo Written Jun 12, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are spacious grounds around the BASILICA; which give fabulous views over the countryside, as well as go around the building to see its nooks.
    If you had the day, you could plan a picnic after seeing the cathedral, and then walk down the hill browsing the various shops, etc.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Watch the people parade.

    by Beausoleil Updated Aug 7, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Vezelay has been a pilgrimage town for centuries. It still is, including religious pilgrims, history pilgrims and scenery pilgrims. They all receive satisfaction here.

    As you walk up the hill, you join a crowd of people heading up with you. There are tourist shops, restaurants, religious item stores . . . and yes, real monks and nuns padding about in sandals much as they did centuries ago.

    In front of Basilique Ste. Marie-Madeleine Basilique Ste. Marie-Madeleine Basilique Ste. Marie-Madeleine
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    Visit the church

    by Beausoleil Written Aug 22, 2009

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The wonderful church at Vezelay is not a cathedral which must have a bishop's chair. It is a basilica . . . a fine point for such a magnificent church. After Chartres, this is my favorite church in the entire world. It is not as ornate as, for instance, most Bavarian churches, but the very austerity is what I love about it. When you step inside, you feel you are stepping back in history; the ages are palpable inside the church.

    This is one place where no one has to tell you to look up. Your eyes are drawn upward as you enter. If you have the opportunity to take a guided tour, do so you will understand all before your eyes. If not, purchase one of the many booklets available in the bookstore.

    . . . and do look up!

    The basilica at Vezelay Basilique at Vezelay Carvings over the door
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Beausoleil's Profile Photo

    The reluctant tourist

    by Beausoleil Written Jul 9, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This young lady looked none to happy to be touring Vezelay that day. I'm sure she was rescued shortly. Lots of walking and not too many child-friendly things to do. Be sure you plan something for small children as a little reward when you make your trip.

    A reluctant tourist
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    The way....

    by Lalique Written Dec 5, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The 1st and foremost thing to see in Vezelay is of course Church of St. Madeline.
    You'll get to it from the very bottom of a hill it stands on (and where is the entance to the town), along a steep and curvey main road which takes you right to the top....... and here is the beauty.....

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    Inside

    by Lalique Written Dec 5, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The interior of the Church is very ascetic but light and pure at the same time.
    In the cellar, which can be intered somewhere in the mid of the Church, St. Madeline relics (a hand) is kept.
    There is a Brit priest, who serves there and organises spontanious excursions around the place, we were lucky to join one :))))

    Was this review helpful?

  • Lalique's Profile Photo

    St. Madeline Church

    by Lalique Updated Dec 5, 2002

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One can see a lot of pilgrims still coming to this place, we witnessed two mini buses of nuns paying a visit while we were there.....
    Don't foget to go to the terrace behind the Church, a view from there over the valley is just breathtaking! They even have a metal plate there with engraved scenery and all the descriptions what is where.....

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Enter the Church of Ste.-Magdalene

    by hquittner Updated Dec 5, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The nave is very long (200 feet compared to Notre Dame of Paris’ 198 ft; these are nave only figures; the total length is 394 ft., 30 ft less than N.D.) with an aisle at each side and only a two level elevation (no triforium). A portal precedes the nave and each aisle, requiring three tympani. The nave and aisle arches are of alternating colored stones. The way the light enters makes it a mystical experience. There is a tower at the crossing. The choir, ambulatory with radiating chapels and transepts, were recreated at the end of the 12C, when a Gothic style was used. This area has a triforium level and is taller than the nave. The transepts are short and the South one gives over to a Chapter house and part of a cloister beyond which, outside at the apse area, there is a beautiful view to the town below and far beyond. (Tips by others show this). The reason for entering is to see the 94 capitals. The total 118 (plus 4 tympani) are a fine show of 12C Romanesque sculpture. (Our General Tips illustrate some of them).

    Nave View Toward Apse West View with Organ Loft (1700) Lateral View with Blind Triforium South Aisle Apse, Ambulatory and Crypt
    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • ATLC's Profile Photo

    St. Madeleine's Basilique

    by ATLC Written Dec 16, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The first Franciscan convent was founded in France in 1217. In the 13th century, relics of St. Marie-Madeleine were found in Provence and brought to Vezelay. The cloister went to ruins but were restaured in 1840.

    VEZELAY
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • wandeljp's Profile Photo

    Vezelay: The Pelgrimage.

    by wandeljp Written Jan 23, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    VEZELAY: On the way to Santiago de Compostella

    Vezelay has been a magic place in charge of history at all times, and this for more than thousand years, the pilgrims left the Basilica in direction Santiago de Compostella, Galicia, Spain.

    In 2004 we were somme of these.

    The sign of the photograph indicates to the pilgrims the places where they can sleep for a small price!

    Vezelay est un endroit magique chargé d'histoire de tous temps , et ce depuis plus de mille ans, les pelerins partirent de la Basilique en direction de Santiago de Compostella, Galice, Espagne.

    En 2004 nous etions de ceux-là.

    Le signe de la photo indique aux pélerins les endroits où ils peuvent dormir pour un petit prix !

    Vezelay : Hostsign
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Backpacking
    • Hiking and Walking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    BASILICA OF MARY MAGDALENE

    by Helga67 Written Feb 25, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The 12th century church is a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture and part of UNESCO World Heritage with outstanding sculptures and pillars depicting Biblical and mythological scenes. The 'Mystical Mill', a summary of the entire Bible, commands the largest crowd of onlookers.

    Basilica of Mary Magdalene
    Related to:
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Examine the Narthex Closely

    by hquittner Updated Dec 4, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Narthex was built between 1140-45. It was created apparently to accommodate the large number of pilgrims arriving. It has a 13C facade in Gothic style that adds a gable above the tympanum. (covered in a Separate Tip) not to be confused with the other three tympani over the doors that lead into the aisles and nave of the church and entered from the Narthex. (also described as a Tip). The gable has 5 lancet windows which light the Narthex. There are 6 statues at their base: (L>R) Saints John Evangelist, Andrew, John Baptist, Peter, Paul and Benoit. Above are Jesus, 2 Angels, the Virgin and the Magdalene. At the edges there is only a South Tower (pictured in our Intro) from the top of which fine views of the town and area are obtained. (We were too old to climb up). Inside, the narthex has 3 central bays (L 77 and H 72 feet) with an aisle at each side. The arches are pointed, an innovation at that time. Suger, who was at Cluny, then used that in his changes of St.Denis. Above the aisles are tribunes. All is supported by 4 massive pillars. Decorating the pillars and doors are 24 fine capitals, many here restored or replaced by Viollet-le-Duc who labored here for 21 years (1840-61) to provide the architectural and sculptural extravaganza we are visiting. The capitals present scenes from the Old and New Testament. The tribunes above the aisles have plain arches and there are groined vaults.

    Facade (Lower 6 statues, almost) Nave To Inside the Facade The Aisle & Tribune Above Peter Rescued from Prison (Narthex Capital) Entry to Nave (2 of 3 Doors)
    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Seniors

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Vézelay

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

23 travelers online now

Comments

Vézelay Things to Do

Reviews and photos of Vézelay things to do posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Vézelay sightseeing.

View all Vézelay hotels