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Vezelay Abbey





Fast Facts

  • Location: In the town of Vezelay in Burgundy, in southeast of Paris.
  • Best time to Visit: July
  • Preferred Timing: During day time.
  • How to Get:
    Air:
    The nearest airport is Auxerre Branches Airport (AUF). The airport is located in Auxerre, 52 km away from Vezelay.
    Train:
    In order to reach Vezelay by train, you need to catch the high-speed TGV trains from the Gare de Lyon station of Paris to reach Montbard and then take a connection bus to reach Avallon. Connection buses directly to Vezelay are available only on Friday evening and Monday morning throughout the year. Regular buses are available only during July and August. You can also take train from Gare de Lyon station or Bercy station to reach Laroche-Migennes or Auxerre. Then take a local train to reach Sermizelles which is just 10 km away from Vezelay.
    Car:
    If you are coming down from Paris, take Motorway A6 and take exit Auxerre south or Nitry. From Nitry take D 944 and subsequently take D 32, N6 and D 951 to reach Vezelay. If you are coming down from Lyon, take Motorway A6, take exit Avallon from Avallon and then take D 957 to reach Vezelay.
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Nearest Airport: Auxerre Branches Airport (AUF).
  • Nearest Station: Sermizelles (10 km away from Vezelay)
It escaped the wrath of the revolutionaries, but even the zealous angels of change could not completely raze it down. Despite the defaced exterior, what remains of the magnificent Vezelay Abbey is enough to make any visitor spellbound. It is one of the most outstanding creations of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture ever erected. Vezelay is a small town in Burgundy, southeast of the city of Paris, and is known largely because of its scintillating Abbey — a Benedictine and Cluniac monastery. Nowadays known as Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Vezelay Abbey is a must-see destination for all lovers of architecture and history. In the year 1979, the UNESCO included the church and the hill on which it is located, in the list of World Heritage Site.

Visiting Vezelay Abbey

Vezelay Abbey, also known as the Benedictine abbey church of Ste-Marie-Madeleine or the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, is located on ancient Via Aurelia on the way to St. Jacques of Compostelle. The construction of the church that began in 1295 was continued in several phases for the next 237 years when it was finally decided to stop the work in 1532. As a result, some of the construction work remained unfinished as the portal of the main entrance and the bell tower. Vezelay Abbey, in its huge construction, has an apse with two apsidioles, a large nave and 16 chapels. The most sacred place of the church is a crypt that contains 4th-century Gallo-Roman funeral monuments.

Vezelay Abbey remains open to the visitors all through the year. There is no admission charge in the church. Visits are restricted during the church services. One can visit the Vezelay Abbey at his own or through a guided trip. The Saint Madeleine pilgrimage is organized every year on 22nd July. So, it would be a special experience for you if you could manage to be there on that day.

Guided Visits:

Guided visits are available for the group of 10 persons in four different languages including French, English, German and Japanese.
Duration: 1 hour.
Charge: €3.20 (Adults) / €2.00 (Students) (free entry to Accompanist and driver)
Reservation: Service des visites de la Basilique
09.30 a.m. to 12 noon & 02.45 p.m. to 04.45 p.m.
(Sunday & Monday closed)
Tel: 03 86 33 39 50
Fax: 03 86 33 36 93
E-mail: basilique@vezelay.cef.fr
Web: http://vezelay.cef.fr

Church Services:

Laudes: 7 a.m. (Tuesday to Friday) & 8 a.m. (Saturday & Sunday)
Midday Service: 12.30 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday)
Vespers: 6 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday) / 05.30 p.m. (Saturday during winter)
Mass: 06.30 p.m. (Monday to Friday) & 12.30 p.m. (Saturday)
Sunday Mass: 7 p.m. (Saturday, 06.30 p.m. in winter) & 11 a.m. (Sunday)

Related Links :

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=sY2wE7cblxU&feature=related: Check out the wonderful interiors of Velezay Cathedral, and listen to the great choir that creates a solemn ambience within the Abbey during Mass time, in this travel video!


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