- Churches/Religious Sites, Sightseeing Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Read about how we rank Things to Do.
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.