On our way from one work exchange location to another in southern(ish) France, we enjoyed a day of pure sightseeing in the city Le Puy-en-Velay.
According to About-France.com it was in Le Puy en Velay that many of the early pilgrims gathered for the start of the arduous journey to the shrine of Santiago de Compostella, the great medieval pilgrimage destination in Spain. The first pilgrimages set out from Le Puy in the late tenth century, and during the Middle Ages, the city became a major religious centre, the great starting point for one of the major Compostella pilgrimage routes, the Via Podiensis.
While the idea of trekking to Santiago faded away for centuries after the Middle Ages, becoming a task only to be undertaken by the very devoted or (fool)hardy, it is now well back in fashion. Today, Le Puy has returned to its important position as the starting point for the greatest European pilgrimage route, a hiking trail of over 1000 km undertaken each year, in whole or in part, by many thousands of pilgrims or hikers.
Have a look at our photos from this charming city below!
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