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Le Puy-en-Velay

Le Puy-en-Velay

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In the extraordinary site of Le Puy with its spiky, volcanic peaks, a final touch was put to Nature when, far back in the 5th century, a church, shortly to become a cathedral, was built. Overlooked today by the statue of Our Lady of France, other religious edifices were added to this important episcopal city, such as Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe. The first stone was laid in 962 by Godescalc, bishop of Le Puy, who was the first pilgrim from the North of the Pyrenees to have followed, twelve years before, the road to Saint James of Compostela. The Puy itself is also a pilgrimage centre and on the 15th August the Black Virgin leads a huge procession through the streets of the old town. These same streets become colourful and animated a few weeks later in September for the Bird King festivities. The silent rooms of the Crozatier Museum preserve collections testifying to the history and traditions of the town and its region, the Velay.

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