World Heritage Photos

Vézelay, Church and Hill

Vézelay, Church and Hill: Vézelay Abbey is located in the Northern part of Burgundy in France. Vézelay Abbey is a masterpiece of Romanesque art and architecture. The church of the abbey, the Basilica St. of Mary Magdalene in Vézelay was a major medieval site of pilgrimage, the Carolingian crypte of the Church of Vézelay holds the relics of Mary Magdalene. Due to the pilgrimages, the town of Vézelay was rising up around the abbey. Vézelay Abbey is famous for its remarkable Romanesque sculptures that adorn the tympanums and capitals. The nave was constructed in the period 1120-1132 and is one of the oldest part of the church. The vault has striped arches. The church is filled with more light than most Romanesque churches. Bernard of Clairvaux preached the Second Crusade at Vézelay in 1146. Vézelay Abbey was the starting point for the Third Crusade. The Basilica St. of Mary Magdalene in Vézelay is the starting point of the Via Lemovicensis, one of the four traditional routes of the Way of James in France. Vézelay is located about 48 km southwest of the World Heritage Abbey of Fontenay. Vézelay, Church and Hill, gained status as UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

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Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Abbey Church of Vézelay is the largest Romanesque church in France. The magnificent church is...

Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Abbey Church of Vézelay is the largest Romanesque church

in France. The magnificent church is officially called the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine,

the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene. The narthex has three sculpted portals. The 11th

century nave was designed in order to bathe in light during the summer and winter solstice.

  1. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Abbey Church of Vézelay is the largest Romanesque church in France. The magnificent church is...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Abbey Church of Vézelay is the largest Romanesque church

    in France. The magnificent church is officially called the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine,

    the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene. The narthex has three sculpted portals. The 11th

    century nave was designed in order to bathe in light during the summer and winter solstice.

  2. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Abbey Church of Vézelay is celebrated for the Romanesque tympanums. The tympanum above the main...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Abbey Church of Vézelay is celebrated for the Romanesque

    tympanums. The tympanum above the main portal of the west façade was made in 1856, it

    depicts the Last Judgement, the original was destroyed in 1793 during the French Revolution.

    Another tympanum depicts the Mission of the Apostles and Preaching of the Good News. 

  3. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Carolingian crypte of the Abbey Church of Vézelay houses the relics of Mary Magdalene. The Abbey...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Carolingian crypte of the Abbey Church of Vézelay houses

    the relics of Mary Magdalene. The Abbey Vézelay was a major medieval site of pilgrimage.

    The Vézelay Abbey is an outstanding masterpiece of the Burgundian Romanesque art and

    architecture. Vézelay Abbey is located in the Northern part of Burgundy in France.

  4. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: A 19th century reliquary containing a bone of Mary Magdalene. The relics of Mary Magdalene were...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: A 19th century reliquary containing a bone of Mary Magdalene.

    The relics of Mary Magdalene were brought to the Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in 1281.

    The relics were burned during the Wars of Religion in the 16th century. The present relics of

    Mary Magdalene were given by the Archbishop of Sens and rest in a reliquary in the crypt.

  5. Vézelay, Church and Hill -  Vézelay, Church and Hill: Vézelay Abbey is famous for its remarkable Romanesque sculptures that adorn the tympanums and...

     Vézelay, Church and Hill: Vézelay Abbey is famous for its remarkable Romanesque

    sculptures that adorn the tympanums and capitals. The nave was constructed in the

    period 1120-1132 and is one of the oldest part of the church. The vault has striped

    arches. The church is filled with more light than most Romanesque churches.

  6. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The columns of the Abbey Church of Vézelay are adorned with Romanesque capitals.The capitals of...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: The columns of the Abbey Church of Vézelay are adorned with

    Romanesque capitals.The capitals of the nave are decorated with scenes from the Bible,

    the most famous is the Mystic Mill, depicting Moses from the Old Testament and St. Paul

    from the New Testament. The church is officially called Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine.

  7. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The west façade of the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene of Vézelay. The Basilica of...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: The west façade of the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene of Vézelay.

    The Basilica of Vézelay is the former abbey church of a Benedictine monastery. The west

    façade of the basilica is adorned with statues of saints, such as John the Baptist and John

    the Evangelist. Vézelay, Church and Hill, gained status as UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

  8. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene is situated on a hilltop, the highest point of the Village of...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: The Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene is situated on a hilltop,

    the highest point of the Village of Vézelay. Some parts of the Romanesque church are

    rebuilt in the Gothic style. The interior of the Abbey Church of Vézelay is much more

    impressive than the exterior suggests.

  9. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill:  Bernard of Clairvaux preached the Second Crusade at Vézelay in 1146. In 1189 the French King...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill:  Bernard of Clairvaux preached the Second Crusade at Vézelay

    in 1146. In 1189 the French King Philip II, the English King Richard the Lionheart and the

    Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa met in Vézelay to leave for the Third Crusade.

    Barbarossa drowned during the this crusade and on his way back to England, Richard the

    Lionheart was captured in Austria.

  10. Vézelay, Church and Hill - Vézelay, Church and Hill: A copper scallop shell in front of the basilica in Vézelay. The scallop shell is the iconic...

    Vézelay, Church and Hill: A copper scallop shell in front of the basilica in Vézelay.

    The scallop shell is the iconic symbol of the Route of Santiago de Compostela. The Route

    to Santiago the Compostela is signposted with this scallop shell. The Via Lemovicensis is

    one of the four traditional main routes of the Route of Santiago de Compostela in France.

    The starting point of the Via Lemovicensis is the Basilica St. of Mary Magdalene in Vézelay.