Coat of arms

Coordinates: 47°28′00″N 3°44′48″E / 47.4667°N 3.7467°E / 47.4667; 3.7467Coordinates: 47°28′00″N 3°44′48″E / 47.4667°N 3.7467°E / 47.4667; 3.7467
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Department Yonne
Arrondissement Avallon
Canton Vézelay
  Mayor (20012008) Simone Galtier
Area1 21.83 km2 (8.43 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 486
  Density 22/km2 (58/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 89446 / 89450
Elevation 170–339 m (558–1,112 ft)
(avg. 302 m or 991 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Vézelay is a commune in the Yonne department in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in north-central France. It is a defendable hill town famous for Vézelay Abbey. The town and the famous 11th century Romanesque Basilica of St Magdalene are designated UNESCO World Heritage sites.


Vézelay Abbey

Vézelay's hilltop location has made it an obvious site for a town since ancient times. In the 9th century the Benedictines were given land to build a monastery during the reign of Charles the Bald.[1] According to legend, not long before the end of the first millennium a monk named Baudillon brought relics (bones) of Mary Magdalene to Vézelay from Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume.


Bourgogne Vézelay is the local wine appellation. Vineyards descend to the edge of the town and produce a range of mostly white wines, based mainly on the Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Melon de Bourgogne grape varieties. About half of the production is marketed through the Cave Henry co-operative. The vineyards are believed to have been established by the Monastery in the ninth century. In the late nineteenth century the vineyards were decimated by phylloxera. The vineyards were revived during the 1970s.

See also


  1. Jaucourt, Louis, chevalier de. "Vézelay." The Encyclopedia of Diderot & d'Alembert Collaborative Translation Project. Translated by Warren Roby. Ann Arbor: Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library, 2007. http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.did2222.0000.765 (accessed April 1, 2015). Originally published as "Vézelay," Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, 17:226–227 (Paris, 1765).
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