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Le Puy-en-Velay

A must-see town on the Way of St. James

Cities in the region

Last updated date : 19/01/2023

Take a break in this town just 1 hour and 45 mins from Lyon that is steeped in history and intensity. Here are our hints and tips for a weekend in Puy-en-Velay.All set to explore!

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The must-see

Cathédrale du Puy - Crédit Luc Olivier

Notre-Dame du Puy Cathedral

Notre Dame du Puy cathedral is one of the town's most iconic monuments that acts as a magnet to pilgrims and tourists alike, and was built between the 10th and 12th centuries on top of the hill where the town has since grown. Boasting UNESCO status, it is home to the statue of the Black Virgin that is carried through the streets in a procession on 15th August each year.

The cathedral is built from alternate white and red volcanic stones which has a continually surprising effect. The poetic charm of the building lies in the tiniest details! Don't miss the Roman cloister and its polychrome archways.

ND de France

Notre-Dame de France statue

The Notre Dame de France statue overlooks the town and was completed in 1860. It is made from red cast iron and was made in the Prénat foundry in Givors. From the foot of the statue, visitors can enjoy a unique panoramic view of the town, cathedral and Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe church.

Place du Plot au Pup en Velay © Luc Olivier

The town's narrow streets

Take time to wander through the pedestrian and shopping streets of the city centre where colourful medieval houses give way to Renaissance buildings.

A lively town centre where the history of Le Puy comes to life through walking tours recommended by the Tourist Office!

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe © Office du Tourisme du Puy-en-Velay

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe church

The Church of Saint-Michel d'Aiguille is a little gem of religious architecture! Perched at the top of its rocky peak, the church of Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe is a magical and surprising place. This Romanesque church, built in the 10th century, follows the shape of the rock and is accessible by 268 steps...

Its interior frescoes and the polychromy of its decoration are well worth seeing! Once at the top, the view of Puy-en-Velay and the cathedral also greatly reward the climber.

Capital of lace

If you like old handmade lace, beware of the permanent temptation! Around the rue des Tables, rummage through the doilies and other sometimes kitschy souvenirs to find THE ribbon or THE beautiful piece of lace to accessorize! For those of you who are brave enough to have a go yourself, the Centre d’Enseignement de la Dentelle au Fuseau (Bobbin Lace Teaching Centre) provides a great introduction to this extremely meticulous art!


Puy de Lumières - Rocher St Michel au Puy en Velay - © photo Luc Olivier

Summer period: Puy de Lumières

In May, the town's most iconic monuments are bathed in colors. Welcome to Puy de Lumières ! Every evening, light projections enhance the architecture or tell a story. Light up your evenings on a special journey!

September: Fête Renaissance du Roi de l’Oiseau

Are you passionate about history and fascinated by the Renaissance period? Every year in September, the town comes to life to celebrate the Fête Renaissance du Roi de l’Oiseau (Renaissance Bird King Festival). The town steps back in time with parades, shows and dances as well as a large Renaissance market.

Further informations on the website of Le Puy-en-Velay Tourist Office.