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- Vezelay Basilica
- Alt Name:
- Basilique Ste-Madeleine
- High Medieval (1000AD–1300AD)
- 1100AD - 1199AD
- Richard the Lionheart
- Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, St-Trophime Church ,
Basilica of St Sernin, Sainte-Foy Abbey,
about Vezelay Basilica
Vezelay Basilica, also known as Vezelay Abbey or Basilique Ste-Madeleine, has been a place of pilgrimage since it was claimed that the relics of Mary Magdalene had been brought there, sometime before the twelfth century. Whilst it is unlikely that this was really the case, Vezelay Basilica has remained an important site for Christians.
In medieval times, Vezelay Basilica was a key stop for pilgrims making their way to the Spanish church of Santiago de Compostela. This fame was further enhanced by the important events that have taken place at the church, including a meeting between Richard the Lionheart and Philip Augustus in July 1190, just before they embarked on the Third Crusade.
Vezelay Basilica itself was founded as a Benedictine abbey in the ninth century, although the current structure was built later and completed in around the twelfth century. A vast Romanesque structure resplendent with detailed carvings, such as its twelfth century tympanum – a depiction of Christ on His throne surrounded by the apostles - Vezelay Basilica has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979. Much of it was restored by Viollet-le-Duc in the nineteenth century.
Just as empires rise and fall so do entry fees and opening hours! While we work as hard as we can to ensure the information provided here about Vezelay Basilica is as accurate as possible, the changing nature of certain elements mean we can't absolutely guarantee that these details won't become a thing of the past. If you know of any information on this page that needs updating you can add a comment above or now.
Address: Vezelay Basilica, Place de la Basilique, 89450 Vézelay, France
Phone: 03 86 33 39 50
Vezelay Basilica is located in the town of Vezelay, around 200km south of Paris and 270km north of Lyon. Trains travel from Paris Gare de Lyon to Montbard (1hr direct) then buses go to Avalon (20 min. drive from Vezelay). Buses are daily July-Aug or Friday morn, Monday eve the rest of the year.
Vezelay Basilica is open daily, 6am-8pm (to dusk in winter) except during services (usually 7am, 12:30pm, 6pm Tues-Fri; 8am, 11am, 12:30pm, 6pm Sat; 8am, 11am, 6pm Sun). From July-August, guided tour take place 2:30pm daily except Mondays (lasting 1hr 15 min.). Entry to Vezelay Basilica is free.
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