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A place of pilgrimage

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Map showing location of Nîmes

Le Puy is located in the Massif Central, and is surrounded by volcanic plugs and hills.   It is famous as a place of pilgrimage and for its cathedral, lentils and lacemaking. 

Over view of the city
The photo shows how all the important places in the city are located on volcanic plugs.

The shrine to Our Lady - dating from the 4th century - made Le Puy one of the starting points for the pilgrim way to Santiago de Compostela.  This is a walk of some 1,600 km.  it is part of the pilgrim path system throughout Europe.  St James of CompostellaSt jacques de Compostella. All around the town there are signs and symbols of pilgrimage.

Emperor Charlemagne made the pilgrimage twice to Le Puy in the ninth century. The citythen became a very popular place for the Kings and Queens of France to use as a place of pilgrimage. Soon it became known throughout Europe and formed an integral part of the pilgrim way system.  It is said that the first crusade was first preached from here. 

Cathedral The cathedral of Le Puy

The cathedral dates from the first half of the 12th century.  Inside, there is the statue of the Black Virgin dating from the 18th century.  It looks a sombre black colour because it is built from the volcanic stone of the region.

The town grew around the cathedral.  Its narrow, attractive streets wander uphill through interesting buildings.  
streetThe statue and churches can be seen everywhere in the city above the houses.

Chapel Saint Michel was built in the 10th century and can be reached by climbing up the steep steps up the volcanic plug on which it perches. This is another pilgrimage site and like the plug bearing Our Lady, it too had a religious significance in pre-Christian times.

Le Puy St Michel

Le Puy St Michel

 

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