For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move. ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON

Monday, 31 October 2011

Le Puy-En-Velay (1)

Entering Le Puy.

The bell tower of the cathedral is on the left; the bronze statue of Our Lady, Notre Dame de France, is on the right.  

A warren of backstreets and alleyways takes you steeply up to the cathedral.

Inside the cathedral you come across a wooden statue of Saint James near the altar. It was in this exact spot four years ago that the Bishop of Le Puy invited me to take from a basket some folded notes containing supplications from parishioners and visitors who were suffering or in distress. I was asked to pray for these people on my way to Santiago.  

Leaving the cathedral via the west porch.

Looking out over Le Puy from the west porch.

The western facade of the cathedral is magnificent. Note the Arabic influence on the architecture. The arches, pilasters and geometrical patterning of the stonework reminded me strongly of Córdoba cathedral in Spain. The white stone is sandstone; the brown stone is volcanic breccia.

I stood in this place four years ago at the start of my two month pilgrimage from Le Puy to Santiago.  This is the photo I took then.


Ruth said...

It's an unusual and charming facade. And what a view from that arched doorway! Glad you're breaking up the end ...

pilgrimpace said...


thanks - it's been really good to be following your Camino, bookending by own small one in between!


ksam said... I think I know where I need to go. IF not next...soon. Got the same lump in my throat looking at these as I do Santiago! Sniff....
Some of my dearest companions on the road started in Le Puy.

am said...

Buen Camino! I remember your first photo of the cathedral. Amazing that nearly four years have passed.

George said...

Great photos! Even before I read your text, the first shot of the cathedral in Le Puy sent my mind racing back to my first visit to Cordoba in the early seventies.

It's been a great treat, Robert. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience with the rest of us.

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, all. I don't want it to end.

Wonder if I've learnt anything at all in the last four years, am? Sometimes it doesn't feel like it. One keeps on making the same mistakes.

pilgrimpace said...

ah Robert - but you were so much older then, you're younger than that now

The Solitary Walker said...

Ha, Andy, very good!