Le Puy-en-Velay

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Le Puy-en-Velay
Cathedrale Le Puy-en-Velay.JPEG
Blason ville fr PuyVelay (HauteLoire).svg
Coat of arms
Location of Le Puy-en-Velay
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Le Puy-en-Velay
Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region location map.svg
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Le Puy-en-Velay
Coordinates: 45°02′39″N3°53′09″E / 45.0442°N 3.8858°E / 45.0442; 3.8858 Coordinates: 45°02′39″N3°53′09″E / 45.0442°N 3.8858°E / 45.0442; 3.8858
Country France
Region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Department Haute-Loire
Arrondissement Le Puy-en-Velay
Canton Le Puy-en-Velay-1, 2, 3 and 4
Government
  Mayor (2016–2020) Michel Chapuis (UDI)
Area
1
16.79 km2 (6.48 sq mi)
Population
 (2016-01-01) [1]
20,135
  Density1,200/km2 (3,100/sq mi)
Time zone UTC+01:00 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+02:00 (CEST)
INSEE/Postal code
43157 /43000
Elevation600–888 m (1,969–2,913 ft)
(avg. 630 m or 2,070 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

Le Puy-en-Velay (French pronunciation:  [lə pɥiɑ̃vəlɛ] ; Occitan : Lo Puèi de Velai [lu ˈpœj ðə vəˈlaj] ) is a commune in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France near the Loire river. Its inhabitants are called Ponots. The city is famous for its cathedral, for a kind of lentil, and for its lace-making. [2]

Occitan language Romance language

Occitan, also known as lenga d'òc by its native speakers, is a Romance language. It is spoken in southern France, Italy's Occitan Valleys, Monaco, and Spain's Val d'Aran; collectively, these regions are sometimes referred to as Occitania. Occitan is also spoken in the linguistic enclave of Guardia Piemontese. However, there is controversy about the unity of the language, as some think that Occitan is a macrolanguage. Others include Catalan in this family, as the distance between this language and some Occitan dialects is similar to the distance among different Occitan dialects. In fact, Catalan was considered an Occitan dialect until the end of the 19th century.

The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.

Haute-Loire Department of France

Haute-Loire is a department in south-central France named after the Loire River. Haute-Loire is part of the current region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and is surrounded by the departments of Loire, Ardèche, Lozère, Cantal, and Puy-de-Dôme. The inhabitants of the department are called Altiligériens.

Contents

History

Le Puy-en-Velay was a major bishopric in medieval France, founded early. Its early history is largely legendary. According to a martyrology compiled by Ado of Vienne, published in many copies in 858, and supplemented in the mid-10th century by Gauzbert of Limoges, [3] a priest named George accompanied a certain Front, the first Bishop of Périgueux, when they were sent to proselytize in Gaul. Front was added to the list of the apostles to Gaul, who in tradition are described as being sent out to reorganize Christians after the persecutions that are associated with Decius, circa 250. As with others of the group, notably Saint Martial of Limoges, later mythology pushed the activities of Saint Front and the priest George back in time. It tells that George had been restored to life with a touch of Saint Peter's staff.

Diocese Christian district or see under the supervision of a bishop

The word diocese is derived from the Greek term dioikesis (διοίκησις) meaning "administration". Today, when used in an ecclesiastical sense, it refers to the ecclesiastical district under the jurisdiction of a bishop.

A martyrology is a catalogue or list of martyrs and other saints and beati arranged in the calendar order of their anniversaries or feasts. Local martyrologies record exclusively the custom of a particular Church. Local lists were enriched by names borrowed from neighbouring churches. Consolidation occurred, by the combination of several local martyrologies, with or without borrowings from literary sources.

Ado of Vienne was archbishop of Vienne in Lotharingia from 850 until his death and is venerated as a saint. He belonged to a prominent Frankish family and spent much his early adulthood in Italy. Several of his letters are extant and reveal their writer as an energetic man of wide sympathies and considerable influence. Ado's principal works are a martyrology, and a chronicle, Chronicon sive Breviarium chronicorum de sex mundi aetatibus de Adamo usque ad annum 869.

The expanding legend of this St. George, which, according to the Church historian Duchesne is not earlier than the 11th century, then makes that saint one of the Seventy Apostles of the Gospel of Luke. It tells that he founded the church of the [civitas] que dicitur Vetula in pago Vellavorum, the city "called Vetula in the pays of the Vellavi" was how a document of 1004 termed it. This was what the settlement of Ruessium began to be called during the 4th century. [4] Vetula means "the old woman", and pagans were still making small images of her as late as the 6th century in Flanders, according to the vita of Saint Eligius. This was the first cathedral at Le Puy.

Gospel of Luke Book of the New Testament

The Gospel According to Luke, also called the Gospel of Luke, or simply Luke, is the third of the four canonical Gospels. It tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Vellavi

The Vellavi were a Gaulish people in the region of Le Puy-en-Velay in the region of the Auvergne, which, at the time of Julius Caesar's campaigns against the Gaul lay on the border of Gallia Narbonensis. The oppidum of Ruessium, an early seat of a Catholic bishop, began to be called during the 4th century the [civitas] que dicitur Vetula in pago Vellavorum— the city "called Vetula in the country ('pays') of the Vellavi" a document of 1004 termed it (Lauranson-Rosaz). Vellavi is retained in the modern toponym Le Velay.

Eligius may refer to:

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe Chapel. Aiguilhe - Chapelle St-Michel - JPG1.jpg
Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe Chapel.

Following St. George the founder, later medieval local traditions evoke a legendary list of bishops at this chief town of the pays of Le Velay: Macarius, Marcellinus, Roricius, Eusebius, Paulianus, and Vosy (Evodius), all of them canonized by local veneration. The Gaulish settlement of Ruessium/Vellavorum was given its Christianizing name, Saint-Paulien, from Bishop Paulianus. A bishop Evodius attended the Council of Valence in 374.

In the early 1180s peasants of Le Puy, led by a carpenter named Durandus, formed a conspiratio (sworn association) called the Capucciati (because of the white hoods they wore as a sign of their conspiratio). They challenged seigneurial dominance in a short-lived attempt at reformation. [5]

A confraternity is generally a Christian voluntary association of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety, and approved by the Church hierarchy. They are most common among Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans and the Western Orthodox. When a confraternity has received the authority to aggregate to itself groups erected in other localities, it is called an archconfraternity. An example is the Confraternity of the Rosary.

Capuciati is the name of a short-lived Catholic confraternity also named Confrères de la Paix. They formed an organisation of warriors dedicated to maintaining peace and order in France in the late twelfth century. They were first organised at Le Puy in 1182 and participated conspicuously in support of Philip Augustus against Stephen I of Sancerre and his Brabançon mercenaries then ravaging the Orléanais in 1184.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, an enclave within the city of Rome in Italy.

Our Lady of Le Puy

The Rocher Corneille, the Cathedrale Notre-Dame du Puy and the city. Le Puy-en-Velay - Panorama - JPG1.jpg
The Rocher Corneille, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy and the city.

The Christianization legends of Mons Anicius relate that at the request of Bishop Martial of Limoges, Bishop Evodius/Vosy ordered an altar to the Virgin Mary to be erected on the pinnacle that surmounts Mont Anis. Some such beginning of the shrine Christianized the pagan site; it later became the altar site of the cathedral of Le Puy. This marked one starting-point for the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela, a walk of some 1600 km, as it still does today. The old town of Le Puy developed around the base of the cathedral.

Christianization is the conversion of individuals to Christianity or the conversion of entire groups at once. Various strategies and techniques were employed in Christianization campaigns from Late Antiquity and throughout the Middle Ages. Often the conversion of the ruler was followed by the compulsory baptism of his subjects. Some were evangelization by monks or priests, organic growth within an already partly Christianized society, or by campaigns against paganism such as the conversion of pagan temples into Christian churches or the condemnation of pagan gods and practices. A strategy for Christianization was Interpretatio Christiana – the practice of converting native pagan practices and culture, pagan religious imagery, pagan sites and the pagan calendar to Christian uses, due to the Christian efforts at proselytism (evangelism) based on the Great Commission.

Cathedral Christian church that is the seat of a bishop

A cathedral is a church that contains the cathedra of a bishop, thus serving as the central church of a diocese, conference, or episcopate. Churches with the function of "cathedral" are usually specific to those Christian denominations with an episcopal hierarchy, such as the Catholic, Anglican, Orthodox, and some Lutheran and Methodist churches. Church buildings embodying the functions of a cathedral first appeared in Italy, Gaul, Spain and North Africa in the 4th century, but cathedrals did not become universal within the Western Catholic Church until the 12th century, by which time they had developed architectural forms, institutional structures and legal identities distinct from parish churches, monastic churches and episcopal residences.

Santiago de Compostela City and Municipality in Galicia, Spain

Santiago de Compostela is the capital of the autonomous community of Galicia, in northwestern Spain.

Pilgrims came early to Le Puy, and this was the most popular destination in France during the Middle Ages. Charlemagne came twice, in 772 and 800. There is a legend that in 772, he established a foundation at the cathedral for ten poor canons (chanoines de paupérie), and he chose Le Puy, with Aachen and Saint-Gilles, as a center for the collection of Peter's Pence. Charles the Bald visited Le Puy in 877, Odo, count of Paris in 892, Robert II in 1029, and Philip Augustus in 1183. Louis IX met James I of Aragon there in 1245, and in 1254, when passing through Le Puy on his return from the Holy Land, he gave the cathedral an ebony image of the Blessed Virgin clothed in gold brocade. She is one of the many dozens of venerable "Black Virgins" of France. It was destroyed during the Revolution, but replaced at the Restoration with a copy that continues to be venerated. After him, Le Puy was visited by Philip the Bold in 1282, by Philip the Fair in 1285, by Charles VI in 1394, by Charles VII in 1420, and by Isabelle Romée, the mother of Joan of Arc, in 1429. Louis XI made the pilgrimage in 1436 and 1475, and in 1476 halted three leagues from the city and walked barefoot to the cathedral. Charles VIII visited it in 1495, Francis I in 1533.

Charlemagne King of the Franks, King of Italy, and Holy Roman Emperor

Charlemagne or Charles the Great, numbered Charles I, was king of the Franks from 768, king of the Lombards from 774, and emperor of the Romans from 800. During the Early Middle Ages, he united the majority of western and central Europe. He was the first recognised emperor to rule from western Europe since the fall of the Western Roman Empire three centuries earlier. The expanded Frankish state that Charlemagne founded is called the Carolingian Empire. He was later canonized by Antipope Paschal III.

Aachen Place in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Aachen, also known as Bad Aachen, and in French and traditional English as Aix-la-Chapelle, is a spa and border city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen developed from a Roman settlement and spa, subsequently becoming the preferred medieval Imperial residence of Charlemagne, and, from 936 to 1531, the place where 31 Holy Roman Emperors were crowned Kings of the Germans.

Saint-Gilles, Gard Commune in Occitanie, France

Saint-Gilles or Saint-Gilles-du-Gard is a commune in the Gard department in southern France.

The legendary early shrine on the summit of Mons Anicius, which drew so many, would seem to predate the founding of an early church of Our Lady of Le Puy at Anicium. It was attributed to Bishop Vosy, who transferred the episcopal see from Ruessium to Anicium. Crowning the hill was a megalithic dolmen. A local tradition rededicated the curative virtue of the sacred site to Mary, who cured ailments when a person touched the standing stone. When the founding bishop Vosy climbed the hill, he found that it was snow-covered in July; in the snowfall the tracks of a deer around the dolmen outlined the foundations of the future church. [6] The Bishop was apprised in a vision that the angels themselves had dedicated the future cathedral to the Blessed Virgin, whence the epithet "Angelic" given to the cathedral of Le Puy. The great dolmen was left standing in the center of the Christian sanctuary, which was constructed around it; the stone was re-consecrated as the Throne of Mary. By the 8th century, however, the stone, popularly known as the "stone of visions", was taken down and broken up. Its pieces were incorporated into the floor of a particular section of the church that came to be called the Chambre Angélique, or the "angels' chamber."

It is impossible to say whether this St. Evodius is the same person who signed the decrees of the Council of Valence in 374. Neither can it be affirmed that St. Benignus, who in the 7th century founded a hospital at the gates of the basilica, and St. Agrevius, the 7th-century martyr from whom the town of Saint-Agrève Chiniacum took its name, were really bishops. Duchesne thinks that the chronology of these early bishops rests on very little evidence and that very ill-supported by documents. Before the 10th century, only six individuals are known of whom it can be said with certainty that they were bishops of Le Puy. The first of these, Scutarius, the legendary architect of the first cathedral, dates from the end of the 4th century according to an inscription that notes his name..

Adhemar, bishop of Le Puy was a central figure in the First Crusade. Pope Clement IV was also bishop of Le Puy.

Though the ancient diocese was suppressed by the Concordat of 1801, it was re-erected in 1823.

Climate

Le-Puy-en-Velay climate is classified as a dry-winter humid continental climate (Dwb) on Köppen climate classification due to its interior location, far from the Atlantic Ocean. Winters tend to be relatively cold and dry, especially at night, with an average of −3 °C. Summers are humid and very warm with frequent temperatures above 30 °C, but during at night, temperatures are often dropping below 11 °C. The differance between summer and winter are significant.

Climate data for Le Puy-en-Velay (1981–2010 averages)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)17.8
(64.0)
20.5
(68.9)
24.3
(75.7)
25.1
(77.2)
29.7
(85.5)
34.1
(93.4)
37.4
(99.3)
35.8
(96.4)
33.5
(92.3)
26.5
(79.7)
21.8
(71.2)
16.9
(62.4)
37.4
(99.3)
Mean maximum °C (°F)9.4
(48.9)
10.7
(51.3)
17.6
(63.7)
22.2
(72.0)
26.5
(79.7)
30.1
(86.2)
34.5
(94.1)
32.4
(90.3)
27.7
(81.9)
23.0
(73.4)
15.4
(59.7)
10.6
(51.1)
34.5
(94.1)
Average high °C (°F)4.9
(40.8)
6.1
(43.0)
9.7
(49.5)
12.7
(54.9)
16.8
(62.2)
21.3
(70.3)
24.6
(76.3)
23.9
(75.0)
19.8
(67.6)
14.8
(58.6)
8.8
(47.8)
5.7
(42.3)
14.1
(57.4)
Average low °C (°F)−3.0
(26.6)
−2.8
(27.0)
−0.5
(31.1)
1.8
(35.2)
5.5
(41.9)
8.8
(47.8)
11.0
(51.8)
10.6
(51.1)
7.7
(45.9)
5.2
(41.4)
0.7
(33.3)
−1.9
(28.6)
3.6
(38.5)
Mean minimum °C (°F)−7.7
(18.1)
−7.1
(19.2)
−5.6
(21.9)
−2.8
(27.0)
−1.5
(29.3)
0.8
(33.4)
5.2
(41.4)
4.5
(40.1)
−0.5
(31.1)
−3.8
(25.2)
−5.9
(21.4)
−6.5
(20.3)
−7.7
(18.1)
Record low °C (°F)−21.6
(−6.9)
−20.8
(−5.4)
−22.0
(−7.6)
−10.2
(13.6)
−4.4
(24.1)
−1.3
(29.7)
1.8
(35.2)
−0.8
(30.6)
−2.5
(27.5)
−9.2
(15.4)
−13.4
(7.9)
−18.2
(−0.8)
−22.0
(−7.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches)40.3
(1.59)
31.6
(1.24)
37.8
(1.49)
61.4
(2.42)
84.6
(3.33)
68.4
(2.69)
58.8
(2.31)
64.3
(2.53)
75.0
(2.95)
72.1
(2.84)
54.6
(2.15)
43.1
(1.70)
692.0
(27.24)
Average precipitation days7.36.77.29.910.78.36.77.87.79.28.37.196.9
Average snowy days87410000014.56.532
Mean monthly sunshine hours 93.7111.1166.9163.8191.0221.4261.2234.6179.7126.784.075.51,909.6
Source: Météo France [7] [8]

Main sights

Notre-Dame de France Le Puy-en-Velay5.JPEG
Notre-Dame de France

Le Puy-en-Velay's most striking attraction is the Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy, dating chiefly from the first half of the 12th century. The façade, striped in courses of white sandstone and black volcanic breccia, is reached by a flight of sixty steps, and consists of three orders, the lowest composed of three high arcades opening into the porch, which extends beneath the first bays of the nave. Above it are three central windows that light the nave, and above them are three gables on the gable-end of the nave, flanked by two openwork screening gables. The south transept doorway is sheltered by a Romanesque porch. Behind the choir rises a separate Romanesque bell-tower in seven storeys.

The bays of the nave are roofed by octagonal cupolas, the cupola at the crossing forming a lantern; the choir and transepts are barrel vaulted. The striking parti-colored cloister is connected to remains of 13th-century fortifications that separated the cathedral precincts from the rest of the city. Near the cathedral, the 11th-century baptistery of St John is built on Roman foundations.

The iron statue of Notre-Dame de France (The Virgin Mary) overlooking the town was designed by the French sculptor Jean-Marie Bonnassieux, and is made from 213 Russian cannons taken in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855). [9] It was presented to the town on 12 September 1860 in front of 120,000 people.

Three miles from Le Puy are the ruins of the Château de Polignac, one of the most important feudal strongholds.

Each morning, pilgrims gather to be blessed before starting their journey to Santiago de Compostela. The cathedral has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1998, as part of the "Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France". Fountain Crozatier is also a beautiful sight in the centre of the town.

Le Puy en Velay Panorama.jpg

Notable people

Twin cities

Le-Puy-en-Velay is twinned with the following towns:

Gastronomy

Le Puy is famous for a particular strain of green lentils and for its green liqueur "Verveine" flavored with verbena.

The lentils, grown on the thin soils of the area, are very small and almost black in colour. Their unique quality and flavour derive from their high protein and relatively low carbohydrate content. They are widely used in soups and also to accompany goose, duck and sausage dishes. Le Puy green lentil (Lentille Verte du Puy) is an appellation recognised throughout the European Union (Protected Designation of Origin).

Noteworthy events

Catholic Jubilee

The town holds a famous jubilee in years when the feast of the Annunciation falls on Good Friday. The Jubilee of Le Puy (see Jubilè du Puy-en-Velay in the French Wikipedia) occurred last in 2005 and 2016, but the next occurrence will not be until 2157. The Jubilee of Le Puy is the oldest aside from those of Rome and Jerusalem, taking its original cue from the statement of a monk Bernhard who predicted the end of the world in 992 when the feast of the Annunciation would fall on Good Friday. The number of pilgrims to Le Puy was so remarkable that, after the dread date had safely passed, Pope John XV declared that each such date would be marked by a Jubilee.The first such anniversary occurred in 1065. In the Jubilee of 1407, the press of the crowd was so great that two hundred pilgrims suffocated. Of three Jubilees in the 20th century, the Jubilee of 1932 attracted over 300,000 pilgrims.

Tour de France

Le Puy has hosted the Tour de France on six occasions. In 1954, it was the finish town of stage 15, from Millau, which was won by Dominique Forlini. The next day, Jean Forestier won the race from Le Puy to Lyon. The race did not return until 1990, when the riders retraced their predecessors' route to Millau. Marino Lejarreta won the day. In 1996 the town again hosted two stages, stage 12 from Valence, won by Pascal Richard, and stage 13 to Super-Besse, won by Rolf Sørensen. Recently, Giuseppe Guerini won the stage from Issoire in 2005. Stage 15 of the 2017 Tour de France finished in Le Puy-en-Velay. It was won by Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segafredo.

Fête du Roi de l'Oiseau [10] [ circular reference ]

It is an annual event held for five days in late September, during which the attendants reenact a Renaissance style living, showcasing costumes, culinary traditions and spectacles inspired by the 16th century. [11]

See also

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Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France World Heritage Site in France

UNESCO designated the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France as a World Heritage site in December 1998. The routes pass through the following regions of France: Aquitaine, Auvergne, Basse-Normandie, Bourgogne, Centre, Champagne-Ardenne, Ile-de-France, Languedoc-Roussillon, Limousin, Midi-Pyrénées, Picardie, Poitou-Charentes, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. UNESCO cites the routes' role in "religious and cultural exchange", the development of "specialized edifices" along the routes, and their "exceptional witness to the power and influence of Christian faith among people of all classes and countries in Europe during the Middle Ages".

Basilica of Our Lady of Geneva Church in Switzerland

The Basilica Notre-Dame of Geneva is the main Roman Catholic church in Geneva, Switzerland, the old Saint-Pierre cathedral being now a Protestant parish.

References

  1. "Populations légales 2016". INSEE . Retrieved 25 April 2019.
  2. Article in informational website
  3. Catholic Encyclopedia, "Le Puy"
  4. Lauranson-Rosaz, note 89
  5. Luchaire, Achille (1957). Social France at the time of Philip Augustus. New York: Ungar Publishing Co. pp. 12–19.
  6. Snow in July would have been a likely feature of the post-volcanic summer of 535 and 536; the intervention of the deer may be compared to the legends attached to Saints Eustache and Hubert.
  7. "Données climatiques de la station de Le Puy" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  8. "Climat Auvergne" (in French). Meteo France. Retrieved 30 December 2015.
  9. "Le Puy", Marist Places
  10. "Roi de l'Oiseau". Wikipédia (in French).