Le Puy-en-Velay

The French city of Le Puy -en -Velay is located in the Haute- Loire in the Auvergne region and is equipped with 18,537 inhabitants (as of 1 January 2011) is the largest city of the department. The city is the seat of the prefecture of the department. The prefecture also manages the Arrondissement Le Puy -en -Velay, consisting of 17 cantons, it is the capital (French: chef- lieu) of the cantons of Le Puy -en -Velay -Est, Le Puy -en -Velay -Nord, Le Puy -en -Velay -Ouest, Le Puy -en -Velay -Sud -Est and Le Puy -en -Velay -Sud -Ouest.

The city is a major tourist destination because of its peculiar position in volcanic landscape. On 18 March 1988, the name of the town of Le Puy in Le Puy -en -Velay was changed.

As one of the starting points of the road to Santiago de Compostela and as a diocese with more than a thousand years of history, the city has always been an important cultural center.


Le -Puy -en- Velay in situated 625 meters high in the southern Massif Central in the south-east of the Auvergne, which is taken from the Velay region. Distance to Lyon is 135 km, to Clermont-Ferrand 130 km and Saint- Étienne you drive 75 km away. In spite of belonging to Auvergne Puy -en- Velay is more on the neighboring region of Rhône -Alpes and especially on Saint- Étienne aligned as to Clermont -Ferrand. The next major French cities are out of Lyon in the northeast, Toulouse ( 252 km) to the southwest, Bordeaux ( 353 km ) to the west and Montpellier ( 159 km) to the south.

Coat of arms

Description: In blue with golden lilies sown auffliegender a silver eagle with red arms and red tongue.


  • Focal point of the city are the basalt formation ( Puys ), former volcanic vents. On one of these two peaks, the church Saint -Michel d' Aiguilhe perched ( St. Michael on the needle ). Already in Roman times here a temple had stood, which was probably dedicated to the god Mercury. In the 10th century the first Christian chapel was built, of which remains still exist. One hundred years later they built a larger chapel around them. The new building occupies the entire top surface and adapts with its contour to the natural shape of the rock. The portal at the end of the staircase is richly decorated in sharp contrast to the interior of the chapel. The influence of Iberian- Arab art can probably be explained by the connection to the endpoint of the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In the lintel two sirens appear with nets as symbols of seduction.
  • On the neighboring volcano, the Rocher Corneille, stands the statue of Notre- Dame de la France, built in 1860 in a size of 16 meters, from the metal of 213 captured at Sevastopol during the Crimean War cannons cast and today painted pink. The statue is lit up at night and gives it a particularly ' lovely ' picture.
  • The Cathedral of Le Puy -en -Velay is a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It stands at the foot of the volcanic cone of the Rocher Corneille.
  • Saint Michel at night
  • Saint Michel
  • Saint Michel
  • Saint Michel Portal
  • Saint Michel Portal
  • Saint Michel Portal

Way of St. James ( Via Podiensis )

Le Puy -en -Velay is the starting point of the French pilgrimage route " Via Podiensis ". It is incorporated into the French long-distance hiking trail network as GR 65. The pilgrims are several hikers' hostels (French gîte d' étape ) and a youth hostel available. Le Puy -en -Velay is accessible by train, over the range of TER Auvergne, Clermont -Ferrand from. The next town on the Camino de Santiago is Saint -Privat- d'Allier. The direct road to get there is on the D31.


  • Le Puy has the privilege to celebrate a Holy Year, when on March 25, the Solemnity of Mary coincide promulgation and Good Friday. This was the case in 2005 and 2016 happen the next time, but then again only 2157th
  • The green lens from Le Puy (La Lentille Verte du Puy AOC) is a well known specialty of the city, which is used for fine lentils.
  • The Player of the Club Omnisports du Puy (now Le Puy Foot Auvergne 43 ) played in the second half of the 1980s under professional conditions in the French second division.

Sons and daughters of the city

  • Marion Bartoli ( born 1984 ), tennis player
  • Grégory Coupet (born 1972 ), football player
  • Charles Crozatier (1795-1855), sculptor
  • Charles Dupuy (1851-1923), professor of philosophy and several times Prime Minister of France
  • Émile Fayolle (1852-1928), General and later Marshal of France
  • Sidney Govou ( born 1979 ), football player
  • Bruno Julliard (* 1981), student activist and politician
  • Régis Barthélemy Mouton- Duvernet (1770-1816), General of Infantry
  • Robert Pandraud (1928-2010), Conservative politician, Minister of the Interior 1986-88
  • Romain du Puy (before 1085- after 1134 ), Crusader, lord of Outrejordain
  • Jean -Claude Risset ( b 1938 ), composer and pioneer of computer music
  • Jules Vallès (1832-1885), journalist, novelist, journalist, and social and literary critic