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Notre Dame Cathedral, Le-Puy-en-Velay


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The Notre Dame Cathedral is the one on the right









The gentlest way of ascending to the cathedral is from the west.  In medieval times the steep and long Rue des Tables (left) up to the west doors of the Cathedral was narrower, flanked by half timbered overhanging buildings, and jammed with the tables of trinket and pilgrimage memento sellers.  After being blessed, pilgrims would wend their way through the tables, or down the parallel stepped Rue des Pélerins, to start their long trek along the via Podiensis and then the Spanish Camino de Santiago, ending up in the far distant Santiago de Compostela at the north western tip of Spain.


Several people in the 1800s had a go at "improving" the run down cathedral, but sadly the result was a very ordinary unatmospheric place architecturally, and the cloisters are just unloved and gloomy, despite the hyperbole of some tourist handouts and pilgrim blogs. 


Be aware that the government run cloister and the museum / bookshop in the cathedral, both close for a long lunch break.




The only Pélerin in town - contemplating a two month walk to Santiago? - October 2007




The church's west entrance is closed by a pair of wooden doors made in the  mid 1100s.  The doors are carved with reliefs showing the nativity and passion.  No photos from us we're afraid!  Holly Hayes, who is a lot more determined than Paradox, has lots of pics from around the cathedral in Sacred Destinations.





St James, Pilgrim - a wooden statue from the 1400s but only part of this cathedral since the late 1900s



The Cloister of Notre Dame le Puy-en-Velay





Like several French (and other continental European) cathedrals, the Notre Dame Cathedral was not a monastic foundation but was run by canons.  Monasteries were much more dependant on having a large uplifting cloister area, as the monks rarely got out.  By comparison canons were out and about all the time - they would have become depressives if they had had to spend much time here!








Centaur couple, but why is she pointing at him just for lifting her tail?  Maybe there is a worry about what he is about to do with the instrument in his right hand (below)







A bishop's sepulchral plate on the wall of the dark dirty barrel vaulted chapter house (below) - plus a bit of Adobe tarting for fun.





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