Le Puy-en-Velay

Churches on volcanic vents: Le Puy-en-Velay

Churches on volcanic vents: Le Puy-en-Velay

Churches on volcanic vents

The capital city of Haute-Loire is situated at about 600 meters above sea level in the southern Massif Central. The landscape is bizarre: all around lie “Puys” which is the name of the basalt hilltops. They are former volcanic vents. The church Saint-Michel d'Aiguilhe (Saint Michael on the needle) is perched on one of the summits. Already in Roman times a temple had stood on this site. On the other knoll stands the 16 meter high statue of Notre-Dame de la France, the 1860 cast from cannons that were captured during the Crimean War. The Le Puy Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stands at the foot of the volcanic cone and is one of the starting points of the Camino de Santiago.

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