Basilica of St Mary Magdalene (Vézelay Abbey)
In the French city of Vézelay is the most revered religious shrine in France - famous Basilica of Saint Mary Magdalene. Burgundy is a masterpiece of Romanesque art and architecture.
Abbatsvo Vézelay was built in the 9th century in the way of pilgrimage processions in Santiago Cathedral. Before the advent of the basilica in its place were two ancient monastery, which had been completely destroyed by the Normans and Arabs. To avoid further devastating raids monks built their new home on a high steep hill and surrounded her impregnable walls. Later, many noble families began to build their homes near the abbey. In 1034 the abbot Abbot Geoffrey said that the remains of Mary Magdalene are buried in the monastery. After this abbey became one of the holy places visited throughout Europe at the time. However, in 1279 in Saint-Maksimen-la-Sainte-Baume were found the remains of real Mary Magdalene, and the abbey converted into a very ordinary provincial monastery, which is gradually declining. The new era of the monastery began in 1870, when the monastery brought a holy relic - the arm of Mary Magdalene. In 1920 the abbey was granted honorary membership of the basilica, and since 1979, the building was protected by UNESCO.
Many years later, the abbey has not lost its original appearance. Today is a perfect example of the Romanesque and Gothic styles. Admire Basilica go many tourists from different countries. In the courtyard you can see the five ancient towers of the 15th century, have survived to the present day. Basilica tympanum is a gem - a sculptural group, centered on the figure of Christ surrounded by the apostles and ordinary people. Of particular interest to visitors are capitals of columns, each of which displays a fantastic scene. Here you can see the devils, mystical animals with birds' heads and creepy pig snouts.
Surrounded by green gardens and abbey wonderful parks. Here you can admire the endless vineyards and a stroll through the narrow streets. Easy to get to the monastery. Need to take a train that departs from the Gare de Lyon in Paris. Arrival station - the city of Dijon, which is located 265 kilometers from the capital. Here are the rental car or bicycle. They can drive to the monastery itself. In addition, the city offers a variety of excursions, including a visit to the Basilica. At the entrance to Vezelay abbey can be seen from afar, since it is located on a hill.