A well-preserved town situated on a unique site with outstanding religious heritage features, Le Puy-en-Velay is a haven of peace and a source of spiritual inspiration. Here, visitors can relax and recharge their batteries. Internationally recognised as a starting point for St. James Way (the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela), the town is also a great family holiday location in the centre of the Haute-Loire.
The religious architectural heritage of Le Puy
The sheer majesty of the town is further reinforced by the high cultural quality of its architecture. Be sure to visit the Cathedral of Notre-Dame du Puy, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside the cathedral are several interesting works including the statue of the Black Virgin and a 12th century cloister.
Other religious monuments look down over the city. Perched on the Corneille rock is the high statue of Notre-Dame-de-France (the town's protective virgin), and you can't miss the Chapel of Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe towering 82 m (269 ft) high atop "Le Rocher" rock.
A preserved city center and local traditions
An attractive town, Le Puy-en-Velay is also known for its ancient buildings and well preserved architecture. The very stones and paths of the town are a testament to architectural skill. The charming historical streets winding their way up to the cathedral provide a great place to stop off in one of the many restaurants where local specialities are served, including AOC (controlled origin) Le Puy lentils and of course the famous Velay Vervaine, a precious liquor offering digestive benefits (to be consumed in moderation).
Le Puy-en-Velay is also famous for its hand-made lace. The Bobbin Lace Learning Center offers expositions and a boutique to learn more about this age-old activities.
Activities and festivities
However, Le Puy-en-Velay is also a vibrant town, offering numerous nature-themed activities in a delicate, high-quality environment. Festivals and other activities designed for the whole family are organised throughout the year. The "Roi l’Oiseau" (Bird King) festivals in mid-September attract thousands of participants and spectators.
Find out what's on in Le Puy.