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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.

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