Panoramic view with the Rocher Corneille and the statue of Notre-Dame de France in the background.
Le Puy-en-Velay, in the Haute-Loire is one of France’s most stunning sights. This city alone is worth the trip to Auvergne. The well-preserved old town has survived the ravages of time and has many surprises in store for visitors, including being the birthplace of pillow lace, which continues to be produced here, as the Pillow Lace Teaching Centre demonstrates.
With Notre-Dame cathedral as its centerpiece, the architecturally-rich, 35-hectare conservation area, which is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, bears witness to history.
Volcanic spurs rising in the town’s basin offer a splendid, spellbinding vision. An amazing, thousand-year old Romanesque chapel dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel crowns the 80-metre-high Aiguilhe Rock. The statue of Notre-Dame-de-France, on Corneille Rock, seems to stand watch over the ‘Episcopal city’. Located in an outstanding natural setting, Le Puy-en-Velay is an artistic and cultural centre, a place of conventions, exchanges and meetings, and the starting point of the Via Podiensis to Santiago de Compostela.
In November 2004, the city received the 1st National ‘Ville Lumiere’ Prize for the lighting of its main landmarks.
Main square and fountain:
The animated center of Le Puy-en-Velay with the artful cafes, restaurants and bistros around the central fountain.
This national monument has been a centre of pilgrimage since before the time of Charlemagne, as well as well as being part of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela for which it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.
Notre-Dame de France:
After the victory at the siege of Sebastopol in the Crimean War, 213 of the captured cannons were used to make a statue that the diocese of Le Puy wished to dedicate to Notre-Dame de France. The statue is 16 metres high (22.7m with the pedestal) and weighs 835 metric tonnes.