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Along the Stevenson
Part 1: From the Velay hills
to Langogne en Gévaudan.
The region from Le Puy-enVelay to Pradelles is volcanic.
Its soil favours the farming of
green lentils, which have a
world- wide known quality label.
When we reach Langogne we
come upon another type of
landscapes, soil and vegetation:
granite soil, pine trees, fir trees,
At Le-Puy-en-Velay, RL
Stevenson had the very first
sleeping bag made!
This little town (22 000) inhabitants lies
in the core of an ancient volcano.
Its cathedral dominates the town. To
reach it, we have to walk up narrow,
winding, steep cobbled streets leading to
a flight of high steep stairs! Once you’ve
reached the porch, there are still more
Pilgrims have been attracted for many
centuries by the « Black Virgin », Our
Lady of Le Puy.
It disappeared in 1794 and a replica was
made from the archives of the XIIIth
Since XIIth century, it has also been the
starting point of the pilgrims’ route to
Santiago de Compostela in Spain, along the
« Via Podensis ».They walk for 1 600 km.
The cathedral is UNESCO’s World
« The Rock »: the Chapelle St Michel
d’Aiguilhe and the Chapelle Saint Clair
Saint Michel’s little church was
built in 962 after the safe
return of the Bishop of Le Puy
from a pilgrimage.
It sits aloft an 85 metre high
volcanic rock pinnacle, known as
the « Aiguilhe ». It looks out
over the rest of the town.
It was built in classical medieval
The chapel at the bottom is part
of the whole church built on top
of « the Rock. »
The Corneille Rock Platform of Notre
Dame de France
On top of a volcanic rock , not
far from the cathedral and from
the « Aiguilhe », the statue of
Our Lady was erected in 1860.
It was made out of the bronze
of the 213 cannons captured
from the Russians during the
Crimean War.
It is 22,70m high and it weighs
835 tons.
The Verveine du Velay building
• Created in 1859, the Verveine
du Velay has been a symbol of
Auvergne’s gastronomie
• The Pagés family opened their
doors to visitors to find out how
that famous licor was made
from 32 herbs!
Handmade pillow lace
It has been known since the 15th
The lacemakers use a pillow lace,
called « carreau » and bobbins for
the thread.
To protect the lace cultural
heritage, « the Bobbin Lace
Centre » was created in 1974.
It provides creation and also
teaching lessons leading to a
diploma of Arts.
See the film in French on website:
An English page is also available
on the top left-hand corner.
Le Monastier-sur-Gazeille
the village where Robert Louis Stevenson started from on his trekking journey
Le viaduc de Recoumène
This viaduct is an unfinished railway.
Started in 1921, the project was
abandoned in 1925.
It draws a 325 metres in radius
curvy ramp supported by 8 wide
arches 25 metres wide and 70
metres high.
It is home to the European bungee
jumping centre.
Over 50,000 visitors go there every
The abbey castle made with black
volcano stone dates back to 14th
• A very little village hardly no
one would have ever heard
about, were it not for Robert
Louis Stevenson who walked
through it…
• Peaceful village, except
during the summer. It
attacts loads of tourists to
its campsites.
• The ruins of the castle of
Beaufort, overlooking the
young river Loire, the longest
river in France.
• A strategic position for the
lords of Goudet to watch
over the valley against the
• It was built on a rocky spur
855 metres high.
• A very, very
little village…
• The church
tower has
several bells;
its façade is
typical of this
• Over the
bells, notice
the statue of
the Madonna.
• Volcanic stone
used for the
The crater lake of « Le
Bouchet »
• On top of a hilly place 1220 metres high.
• 44 ha; diametre:3 km ; 28 metres deep.
• Its depth is always even. There is no
river flowing into it.
• When the volcano erupted, the magma
never reached the surface. It met a
phreatic layer and this meeting provoked
the heating of a huge amount of water.
• The pressure made the water blow up
the crust of the volcanic stone, thus
creating the lake
•Alovely place for water activities in the
Le Bouchet Saint- Nicolas
• Stevenson
spent the night at
an inn, in a house most
likely like these.
It is said to be one of the
most beautiful villages in
It culminates between
1150 and 1300 metres
above Langogne and the
river Allier.
Pradelles was a fortified
town of which we can see
here the remains of the
Many houses have strange
sculptures like the ones
• two examples of the
many fountains that
you can see while
strolling around
The wash house beside the new church
In the old, narrow, winding streets you come upon this beautiful porch.
The bas-relief tells the story of Jeanne de la Verdette throwing a large stone on to
the leader of the Protestant assailants.
Like all the places around this region,
catholicism is very present through the
incredible amount of churches,
chapels,statues, wayside crosses along
HERE: the passers-by can admire statues of
Madonnas on some of the houses’ walls…