La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine

#6 in Best Things To Do in Burgundy
La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine  picture1 of 3
La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine 2 of 3
TablinumCarlson/Getty Images

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing, Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.2scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, also known as the Vézelay Abbey, dates back to the 9th and 10th centuries – and throughout the years, has experienced a host of tumultuous events from its hilltop perch. From two separate fires in the 12th century to destruction by the Huguenots in the 15th century, the basilica was also the site from which Thomas Becket issued his condemnation of Henry II from exile and where meetings from the crusades took place. In 1979, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, it hosts religious services and is open for the public to enjoy. 

Recent visitors praised La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine's serene and even inspirational atmosphere. Others said that the view from the terrace is what justifies the steep uphill climb to the site. 

You'll find La Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay, about 75 miles west of Dijon. To reach Vézelay, travelers can take a train to Sermizelles and then hop in a taxi to travel the remaining few miles to town. The church is free to visit and is open every day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Check out the basilica's website for more information. 

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Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun1 of 6
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Type
Time to Spend
#1 Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun

The Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun, also known as the Autun Cathedral, was built in the 12th century as a Roman Catholic cathedral and storehouse of the relics of St. Lazarus. Of particular note are the works of art, including a tympanum of "The Last Judgement." The iconic sculptures, carved by Gislebertus in the Romanesque style, are equally engaging. 

Recent visitors said the Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun stands out among European cathedrals for its architecture and art. Along with the tympanum, travelers also appreciated the cathedral's stained glass and the way the cathedral continues to be used by the Autun community. 

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