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Trip Planner Europe  /  France  /  Bourgogne-Franche-Comte  /  Yonne  /  Vezelay

Vezelay

4.4
Architectural Buildings · Specialty Museums · Theaters
Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in north-central France. It is a defendable hill town famous for Vézelay Abbey. The town and the famous 11th century Romanesque Basilica of St Magdalene are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.HistoryVézelay's hilltop location has made it an obvious site for a town since ancient times. In the 9th century the Benedictines were given land to build a monastery during the reign of Charles the Bald. According to legend, not long before the end of the first millennium a monk named Baudillon brought relics (bones) of Mary Magdalene to Vézelay from Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.In 1058 Pope Stephen IX confirmed the authenticity of the relics, leading to an influx of pilgrims that has continued to this day. Vézelay Abbey was also a major starting point for pilgrims on the Way of St. James to Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important of all medieval pilgrimage centres. This was crucially important in attracting pilgrims and the wealth they brought to the town.
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