Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
La basilique de Vézelay vous accueille (only in French)
Vézelay Tourist Office
Vézelay (Tourist Agency of Burgundy)

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1979
Size of heritage: 183 ha
- Buffer zone: 18,373 ha

Longitude: 3,748°
Latitude: 47,466°


Shortly after its foundation in the 9th century, the Benedictine abbey of Vézelay acquired the relics of St Mary Magdalene and since then it has been an important place of pilgrimage. St Bernard preached the Second Crusade there in 1146 and Richard the Lion-Hearted and Philip II Augustus met there to leave for the Third Crusade in 1190. With its sculpted capitals and portal, the Madeleine of Vézelay – a 12th-century monastic church – is a masterpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture.

Location on Map

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Vézelay, Church and Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in the Department of Yonne, in the Bourgogne Region of France. This historic site is renowned for its exceptional architectural and cultural significance, attracting visitors from around the world. The site comprises the Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine and the surrounding hill, which together form a remarkable testament to medieval art and spirituality.


The history of Vézelay dates back to the 9th century when a Benedictine abbey was established on the hill. The abbey quickly gained prominence and became a major pilgrimage site during the Middle Ages. It was believed to house the relics of Mary Magdalene, making it an important destination for religious pilgrims.

In the 12th century, the construction of the current Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine began. This Romanesque masterpiece showcases the architectural brilliance of the period, with its intricate sculptures and stunning stained glass windows. The basilica became a symbol of religious fervor and attracted countless pilgrims, including famous figures such as Richard the Lionheart and Saint Bernard of Clairvaux.

Current State

Today, Vézelay, Church and Hill continues to captivate visitors with its historical and artistic significance. The Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine remains an active place of worship, hosting regular religious services and events. Its architectural beauty and spiritual ambiance create a unique atmosphere that enchants both believers and non-believers alike.

The basilica's interior is adorned with magnificent sculptures and frescoes, depicting biblical scenes and saints. The most famous of these is the Tympanum of the Last Judgment, a masterpiece of Romanesque sculpture that portrays the final judgment of souls. The delicate stained glass windows allow colorful light to filter into the nave, creating a mesmerizing effect.

The hill of Vézelay, surrounding the basilica, offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Visitors can explore the narrow medieval streets, lined with charming houses and artisan shops. The hill also features the remains of the abbey's fortifications, providing a glimpse into the site's defensive past.

Vézelay, Church and Hill is not only a place of religious and architectural significance but also a cultural hub. The site hosts various cultural events, including concerts, exhibitions, and conferences, attracting artists and intellectuals from all over the world. These events contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of Vézelay and further enhance its reputation as a center of artistic and intellectual exchange.


Vézelay, Church and Hill is a UNESCO World Heritage site that stands as a testament to the rich history and cultural heritage of France. Its Basilica of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine and the surrounding hill offer a captivating experience for visitors, combining architectural splendor, spiritual significance, and natural beauty. Whether one is drawn by religious devotion, artistic appreciation, or historical curiosity, Vézelay is a destination that leaves a lasting impression.

Hotels and places to stay

Hôtel de la Poste et du Lion d Or

Distance: 0,4 mi
Place du Champ de Foire
89450 Vezelay

Time Information

Checkout: 11:00 - Checkin: 16:00
Weekday: 8:00 - 21:00
Weekend: 8:00 - 21:00

Hôtel La Renommée

Distance: 0,4 mi
19 Grand Rue
89450 Vezelay

Time Information

Checkout: 11:00 - Checkin: 16:00
Weekday: -
Weekend: closed

Videos from the area

Vezelay 2014 - Pange Lingua

Published: November 04, 2014
Length: 59:20 min
Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Ch Bt

Pèlerinage des Scouts d'Europe à Vezelay.

Regarde l'Etoile -Vézelay 2014- HD

Published: November 03, 2014
Length: 13:18 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Paul Dirou

Répétition du Grand Coeur de Vézelay2014, rassemblement de Routiers Scouts d'Europe en marche vers la Basilique Ste Marie Madeleine de Vézelay.

Guide LEPERE du chemin de Vézelay

Published: June 11, 2013
Length: 33:15 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: chemincompostelle

Premier guide pratique de la Voie de Vézelay (Via lemovicensis), c'est aussi le plus complet. L'ouvrage propose une variante de Nevers à Saint-Amand. Ce guide a été réalisé en partenariat...

Bénis le Seigneur Ô mon âme -Vézelay 2014- HD

Published: November 05, 2014
Length: 53:04 min
Rating: 5 of 5
Author: Paul Dirou

Procession : "Adibe With Me" A partir de 3:17 : "Bénis le Seigneur, Ô mon âme", chanté lors de la Messe de clôture du Pèlerinage des Routiers Scouts d'Europe en la Basilique Sainte Marie-Made...


Published: May 29, 2012
Length: 47:31 min
Rating: 0 of 5
Author: Aubin Régis

Les meilleurs moments de la sortie Vezelay ainsi que le nord de l'Yonne.

bells ringing in the tower at the abbey in vezelay, france

Published: September 04, 2007
Length: 36:29 min
Rating: 4 of 5
Author: Kyle Smith

the bells ring loudly for 12 noon in the tower of the basilica of mary magdalene in vezelay, france.

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