North of the town of Puy-en-Velay, the town of Aiguilhe is characterized by an old volcanic chimney on which stands a surprising and magnificent chapel, dedicated to Saint Michael since the 10th century. An emblematic and remarkable monument which constitutes one of the city's tourist hotspots with its 268 steps to climb to visit the chapel!

Visit the Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel

The rock and the Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel are real treasures as they reveal so many secrets to visitors. The location of the building is highly symbolic from several angles: at the top of its rock it overlooks the cathedral. The rock dedicated to Saint Michael, its chapel at the top, its fortifications completed at the end of the Middle Ages, make Aiguilhe the town which was formed around the sanctuary to protect the cathedral town, also surrounded by fortifications.

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These elements are in line with the role of Saint Michael in the Romanesque period: the archangel placed above Notre-Dame and the soldier protecting the doors. The construction of the chapel was done in two stages. The initial construction of a pre-Romanesque oratory consecrated in 961 followed by the construction of a chapel at the end of the XNUMXth century made necessary by the influx of pilgrims.

The initial building founded by Truannus is a Roman-inspired oratory covered with a dome.

A chapel built on a volcanic peak

 You'll lose your balance... 82 meters high, the Aiguilhe rock proudly sits in the heart of the city and arouses the curiosity of visitors. Why did you build a chapel up there? The dean of the church of Puy-en-Velay, Truannus, wanted to build a chapel on the rock of Aiguilhe which then could only be climbed by agile men. 

He therefore requested authorization from Bishop Godesclac, the first pilgrim recognized around Saint-Jacques-of Compostela. After creating an access road, a chapel was built at the top of the peak which was dedicated to the Archangel Michael and Bishop Godesclac consecrated it in the year 961.

A volcanic origin

Today, geologists call this rock a neck and a dyke, the old fissure filled with basalt.

Climb a volcano born underwater

At least two million years ago, the Puy-en-Velay basin was an immense lake. Sublacustrine volcanic eruptions have shaped this landscape.
The lava encountered large quantities of water as it reached the surface. Numerous explosions, not very violent, fragmented the pulverized lava which immediately fell back into the water. The debris clumped together in multiple layers and coalesced. This is how volcanic tuff was born. Entire panels of rock fell with each explosion in the chimney. The Rock is thus made up of large slabs close to vertical which bear witness to the fragile pile-up in the deep chimney.

Virtual emotions

The Rocher Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe site is reinventing itself in order to welcome all audiences. A new fun and interactive space (re)makes you want to come there, to discover the original work from a different perspective.
This new scenography also constitutes a virtual visit and allows you to find yourself in total immersion in the chapel and at the top of the Rock.

In addition to the immersive visit which allows the visitor to move virtually, models, films and interpretation tools present the formation of the Rock, the cult of Saint Michael, the architecture and frescoes of the Saint-Michel Chapel of 'Aiguilhe.

View of the rock and the Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel

VISIT WITH PASS' CARD IN VELAY

Pass' Card in Velay is a single, pre-paid ticket that gives access to 3 or 5 visits during your stay.

For a single shared ticket, you visit at a preferential rate:

  • The Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe rock and its chapel
  • The Notre-Dame de France statue
  • The Fortress of Polignac
  • The Crozatier museum
  • The cloister of Puy-en-Velay Cathedral

PRACTICAL TIPS

Where is Saint Michel Rock located?

In the town of Aiguilhe, about 10 minutes walk from the town center of Puy-en-Velay.

How to access the Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel?

Access to the chapel is via a staircase of 268 steps. The panoramic view of the town of Puy-en-Velay is exceptional.

How to visit the Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe rock

You can buy your ticket directly at the ticket office or online. The Saint Michel rock is also part of the Pass' Card en Velay offer.

OPENINGS

Opening hours from July 01 to August 31, 2024
Monday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Tuesday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Wednesday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Thursday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Friday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Saturday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Sunday Open from 09 p.m. to 19:30 p.m.
Night visits in July and August (consult the days and times and book directly on the Rocher website).
Opening hours from September 01 to September 30, 2024
Monday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Tuesday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Wednesday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Thursday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Friday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Saturday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Sunday Open from 09 a.m. to 19 p.m.
Opening hours from October 01 to November 11, 2024
Monday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Tuesday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Wednesday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Thursday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Friday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Saturday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Sunday Open from 09:30 a.m. to 18 p.m.
Last climb: 16:00 p.m.
closed January 1st
Opening hours from December 21, 2024 to January 05, 2025
Monday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Tuesday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Wednesday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Thursday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Friday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Saturday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Sunday Open from 11 a.m. to 17 p.m.
Closed on December 25, 2024 and January 1, 2025.

PRICES

Prices Min. Max.
Adult

7 € -
Kids

5 € -
Adult group

6 € -
Children group

4 € -

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