Le Puy Tourist Attractions

Le PuyLe Puy

Le Puy lies on the right bank of the river Borne, on a rolling plateau on the eastern border of Auvergne. The town is dominated by its Cathedral and by two extraordinary natural features, the Rocher Corneille (755m/2,477ft) and the rock pinnacle known as the Aiguilhe St-Michel (both volcanic chimneys shaped by erosion and weathering).

Le Puy has a long tradition in the manufacture of pillow lace.

Le Puy was founded in the sixth century as the see of the bishop of the Velay, and since the 10th century has been a great pilgrimage center with a much revered Black Virgin (pilgrimage on Aug. 15). It was also the starting point of one of the pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela, and among the earliest pilgrims was a 10th century bishop of Le Puy, who after his safe return built the chapel of St-Michel on the Aiguilhe.

Place du Breuil

The hub of Le Puy's life is the busy Place du Breuil, in which are the Theater and the Prefecture. Behind the Prefecture is the Jardin Vinay, at the south end of which is the Musée Crozatier (archeology, local history, lace, enamels, faience, pictures, etc.).
The Cathedral, to the north of the Place du Breuil, is reached by way of the Place du Plot (18th C. fountain), Rue Raphaël and the Place des Tables, from which the steep Rue des Tables climbs up in a flight of broad steps to the porch of the Cathedral, with the fine Gothic facade of the Hotel Dieu to the left.

Le Puy Cathedral

The 12th C Le Puy Cathedral is an important pilgrimage site, which stands high on a hill top. A large set of stairs made of colored volcanic stone, leads to the blocked up, former entrance.
HIGHLIGHTS

Rocher Corneille

In Le Puy, above the Cathedral to the north rises the Rocher Corneille (755m/2,477ft), a volcanic chimney left isolated by the erosion of the softer rock surrounding it, from the top of which there are extensive views. It is crowned by a statue of the Virgin erected in 1860 (which can be climbed on a spiral staircase inside the figure).

Aiguilhe St Michel

To the north of Le Puy is the Aiguilhe St Michel, an 85m/280ft high rock pinnacle, also a remnant of a former volcano. At the foot stands the chapel of St-Clair (12th C.), and daringly perched on the tip of the rock is the chapel of St-Michel d'Aiguilhe, built in the 10th-11th C., probably on the site of a Roman temple of Mercury. It contains well preserved frescoes. From the path round the chapel there are fine views of the Rocher Corneille and the surrounding country.
Address: Aiguilhe, F-43000 Le-Puy-en-Velay, France

St Laurent

To the south of the Aiguilhe St Michel, on the northwest side of Le Puy old town, is the Gothic church of St-Laurent (14th C.), originally belonging to a Dominican monastery.

Lace Museum

In Le Puy, near St-Laurent, is the Atelier Conservatoire National de la Dentelle à la Main, where visitors can watch the making of pillow lace and can see a collection of lace from the 17th C. onwards.

Rocher St Joseph

1km/0.75mi west of St-Laurent is the Rocher St-Joseph, topped by a statue of St Joseph (fine panoramic views).

Le Puy-en-Velay - Roi de l'Oiseau Festival

Th annual festival, Roi de l'Oiseau Festival. is based on a 16th C archery competition called "shooting the king". The modern festival runs for one week in mid-September and keeps the Renaissance tradition alive. Events include an open-air feast, dancing bears, acrobats, fire-eaters, food and craft stalls and a "King of the Bird" horse riding competition.
Residents also dress in period costume to add authenticity to the celebrations.

Le Puy-en-Velay - International Folk Festival

This highly-acclaimed folk festival, International Folk Festival, brings together musicians, dancers and singers for one week each summer.
The festival usually takes place in mid-July in Le Puy-en-Velay and also includes a traditional trades fair and expositions.
Address: St Quentin-les-Troo, F-41800 Montoire-sur-le-Loire, France

Le Puy-en-Velay - Fêtes Mariales

Fêtes Mariales is an annual two-day festival held in mid-August to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Processions, street entertainment and traditional craft and food stalls are only some of the events during the festival.

Vollore Concerts

Vollore hosts a series of concerts for two-weeks in mid-July. Classical and sacred music are the focus of these concerts, that are often held in impressive historical settings including local churches and halls.
Address: BP 1, F-63120 Vollorville, France

Surroundings

Château de Polignac

5km/3mi west of Le Puy are the ruins of the Château de Polignac (13th-14th C).

Lac du Bouchet

5km/3mi south of Le Puy by way of the Pépinière de Taulhac (view of a bend on the Loire) is the Lac du Bouchet, a crater lake at an altitude of 1,208m/3,963ft.
Le Puy en Velay Map - Tourist Attractions Le Puy Map - Attractions

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