Puy-en-Velay is a jewel in the heart of the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region. Find here the essentials, the visits to make the most of your stay in Velay and discover the exceptional heritage of our city, capital of the roads of Saint-Jacques-of Compostela. 

Le Puy-en-Velay is a city of Art and History. The Pays d'art et d'histoire service of the Puy-en-Velay conurbation also makes the country's riches known and shared with residents, young people and tourists. All year round, it offers a discovery of the heritage of the 72 municipalities through visits and conferences, activities adapted to different audiences, exhibitions and publications.

° C
July Morning Afternoon Evening
Saturday 13
11 ° C
18 ° C
12 ° C
Sunday 14
17 ° C
26 ° C
16 ° C
Monday 15
18 ° C
27 ° C
16 ° C
Tuesday 16
16 ° C
24 ° C
15 ° C
Wednesday 17
18 ° C
28 ° C
16 ° C

Impressive and unmissable

Statue Notre-Dame of France

Head in the stars… A few minutes walk from the city center, the monumental Notre-Dame de France statue constitutes an astonishing technical feat. Built in 1860, it was created with the metal of 213 cannons taken from the Russians during the Crimean War and offered by Napoleon III.

Work of JM Bonnassieux, it measures 22,70m and weighs 835 tonnes. An extraordinary site: Corneille Rock, an ancient citadel, the highest point of the Ponot basin, offers a unique panorama of the Cathedral, the city and the region with its blue horizons.

The climb, equipped with interpretation panels and an orientation table, is easily accessible on foot.

Visit the Cathedral district

Notre-Dame Puy-en-Velay and its treasures

After a first church built in the 5th century, the Cathedral was built on Mount Anis. In the 12th century, the influx of pilgrims led to four bays being placed above a vaulted porch, to compensate for the slope of Mount Anis. Entrance was via a staircase which opened in the middle of the central nave.

In the 1994th century, the building was considerably transformed, but the six domes and admirable painted decorations were preserved. From 1999 to XNUMX, an overall restoration allowed the restoration of the central staircase closed in the XNUMXth century, the repair of the interior facings and the reassembly of the organ with its double-sided XNUMXth century case.

A new altar was placed at the crossing of the transept, while the “pilgrims” altar, against the wall, bears the “Black Virgin” which replaced the primitive statue, burned during the Revolution.


Good to know

ADiscover the magnificent chapel of the penitents at the back of the cathedral. Go out onto the Place du For and take a look at the 180° panorama of the city, its brick roofs and mullioned windows.

Discover the cloister and treasures of the Cathedral

Built in the 11th and 12th centuries, the cloister is one of the most beautiful Romanesque complexes in Europe. The semi-circular arcades are topped by a mosaic of white, red and black diamonds. The chapter room is decorated with a fresco of the Crucifixion. The cloister also presents a remarkable series of historicized capitals from the 12th century: the four Evangelists, the race of the centaurs, an abbot and an abbess competing for the crozier. To be discovered with the Cathedral treasure, an exceptional collection of liturgical ornaments and embroidered devotional paintings from the 15th to the 20th century, collected over more than thirty years.

The Hôtel-Dieu and its digital art center

Linked to the pilgrimage and the Marian sanctuary, the Hôtel-Dieu was founded in the 12th century to accommodate the most deprived sick people. Today, a vast rehabilitation project entrusted to architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte allows us to rediscover this major place in the city's history. It becomes the largest digital art center in the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes region by hosting the Hôtel des Lumières and its immersive scenographies.

Le Itinerary

Take the path of the stars and visualize the steps towards Saint-Jacques-of Compostela. Through a very modern scenography, the visitor is immediately immersed in the path of Saint-Jacques. From its appearance in the Middle Ages to its current modernity, all the dimensions of the Camino are presented. A true invitation to experience, a place of welcome, advice and meeting for the walker, it is also an essential addition to the cultural life of Puy-en-Velay.

The Camino Garden

The pilgrims' café and its magnificent garden constitute a relaxing stop at the bedside of the Cathedral.

Climb the rock

Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe

The Puy-en-Velay basin is characterized by the presence of basalt breccias, of which that of Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe is the most spectacular. These forms of release are called “necks” in the case of release of ancient volcano chimneys, such as Saint-Michel, which were formed under the water of the lake approximately 2,2 million years ago.

A technical and human feat, the chapel built in 961 was born thanks to Bishop Gothescalk who decided to build it on his return from a pilgrimage to Saint-Jacques-of Compostela. Discovered in 1955 during repair work on the altar, the treasure is made up of relics dating back to the origins of the construction. Remarkable frescoes have also been restored.


The Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe rock is one of the most remarkable and astonishing sites, resulting from volcanism, in France. The rock, with a height of 82m, and the Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe chapel constitute an exceptional ensemble.


CROSSROADS OF HIKING and capital of hiking trails saint-jacques-de-Compostelle

Departing from Geneva, Cluny, Lyon or directly from Puy-en-Velay, the paths leading to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle are today much more than a pilgrimage route. It's adventure, the real one, with the discovery of the universal heritage that surrounds these mythical paths.

Road of Saint-Jacques

the prelude to SAINT-Jacques (PR673)

Offered as a prologue to hikers heading towards Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle, this urban PR allows you to use the street Saint-Jacques in Puy-en-Velay, just like the walkers leaving on the GR65 towards Saint-Privat-d'Allier.

Departing from the Tourist Office, the 6,8km route combines rich heritage, the upper town, the museographic spaces of the Hôtel-Dieu and the Camino, the banks of the Borne, the magnificent Henri Vinay garden, the shops of the town center … Ideal for strolling and discovering Le Puy-en-Velay in a different way!

The great collections of Velay

at the crozatier museum

A true jewel in the heart of the Henri Vinay garden, the Crozatier museum has once again become the temple of the great Vellavian collections after 8 years of work.

Very diverse, the collections have a remarkable encyclopedic character. They are presented in galleries dedicated to archaeology, fine arts, ethnology, lace, paleontology, natural sciences and mechanics.

Four groups punctuate the visit:
The historical gallery presents local collections from Prehistory to the Renaissance.
The Velay gallery is dedicated to ancestral pilgrimages as well as lace, one of the main local know-how.
The Fine Arts Gallery exhibits the priceless Virgin with the Mantle (15th century), the Holy Family of Barthélémy d'Eyck (15th century) and the two famous paintings showing Vercingetorix before Caesar. The dome room with its ceiling decorated with a contemporary creation by Franck Chalendard offers a remarkable view of the upper town.
The science and technology gallery presents collections of paleontology and natural history, including the famous Auvergne mastodon, which respond to an exceptional set of mechanics evoking the technological innovations of the 19th

The Teaching Center

bobbin lace

Created in 1974, the Bobbin Lace Teaching Center pursues two essential missions: maintaining tradition and practice through teaching and safeguarding lace-making heritage. Over the years, the Center has acquired an international reputation and its correspondence courses, taken throughout the world, make it a reference in terms of training. Exhibition rooms allow you to discover a themed exhibition each year.

The National Lace Conservatory Workshop, for its part, is attached to the general administration of National Furniture, under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. He is responsible for maintaining bobbin lace techniques: layout, finishing and assembly. The lacemakers perpetuate traditional know-how by creating unique, high-quality works based on designs by internationally renowned contemporary artists. These pieces are presented to the public during exhibitions in France and abroad.

The shrine

Saint Joseph of Good Hope

Near Puy-en-Velay, in the heart of the Borne valley, the basilica of Saint-Joseph de Bon-Espoir d'Espaly, completed in 1918, occupies the site of the former chapel of a fortified castle. The monumental statue measures 22,40 meters high and seems to respond to Notre-Dame de France located on the Corneille rock in Puy-en-Velay.

Work of Brother André Besqueut, the statue was built in reinforced concrete. Its construction was approved by Pope Pius X. The inauguration and blessing took place on April 11, 1910. During your visit, admire the chapel nestled in the rock. Around the sanctuary, a few narrow and picturesque streets make up old Espaly.

Was this content useful to you?