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Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe - The Church on the Volcano
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Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a place with a unique vibe and a rather striking appearance. This is where the Romans used to worship Mercury, kneeling in a prehistoric single-chamber tomb. This is where later Archangel Michael was praised by the Christians of the early Middle Ages. This is where the mother of Joan of Arc used to come and pray.

This is a picturesque Romanesque chapel reachable by climbing 268 steps cut into a rock. And the rock? The rock is a volcanic plug.

Fascinating, isn’t it? And it is not even a fairytale material. You can actually visit the place anytime by booking your ticket to the Aiguilhe commune in the Haute-Loire department, France.

A brief history of Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

The chapel was built in the winter of 951 by Bishop Godescalc. This remarkable man from Le Puy-en-Velay erected the temple to celebrate his safe return home from a faraway overland pilgrimage across the Pyrenees.

He fancied the place because of its vibrant history as a point of worship from prehistoric times. The little church atop the volcanic rock is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, probably because of his ability to appear on mountain tops and different peaking points.

Later, sometime during the 12th century, the church on the volcano was furtherly expanded. A few additional architectural and decorative elements were added, including two side chapels, a sculptured portal, a bell tower, a significantly higher number of frescoes, and more.

Practical information about visiting Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

The opening hours of the chapel may undergo slight variations throughout the year. You can generally assume that 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM is a safe bet anytime except for the Christmas holidays. You will also be asked to pay a symbolic fee of three to five euro upon entering the temple.

Visitors are encouraged to choose between a singular and a guided visit to the church and the surrounding space. Both of these options include not only the church but also the corresponding scenographic area beside it. Any visit includes watching two short films, an interactive animation, and a virtual tour to explore the volcanism, architecture, and paintings in the area. An average visit to Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe lasts between an hour and two hours, depending on your speed and the way you want to experience the place.

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

Where is it on the Map?

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

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Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a place with a unique vibe and a rather striking appearance. This is where the Romans used to worship Mercury, kneeling in a prehistoric single-chamber tomb. This is where later Archangel Michael was praised by the Christians of the early Middle Ages. This is where the mother of Joan of Arc used to come and pray.

This is a picturesque Romanesque chapel reachable by climbing 268 steps cut into a rock. And the rock? The rock is a volcanic plug.

Fascinating, isn’t it? And it is not even a fairytale material. You can actually visit the place anytime by booking your ticket to the Aiguilhe commune in the Haute-Loire department, France.

A brief history of Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

The chapel was built in the winter of 951 by Bishop Godescalc. This remarkable man from Le Puy-en-Velay erected the temple to celebrate his safe return home from a faraway overland pilgrimage across the Pyrenees.

He fancied the place because of its vibrant history as a point of worship from prehistoric times. The little church atop the volcanic rock is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, probably because of his ability to appear on mountain tops and different peaking points.

Later, sometime during the 12th century, the church on the volcano was furtherly expanded. A few additional architectural and decorative elements were added, including two side chapels, a sculptured portal, a bell tower, a significantly higher number of frescoes, and more.

Practical information about visiting Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

The opening hours of the chapel may undergo slight variations throughout the year. You can generally assume that 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM is a safe bet anytime except for the Christmas holidays. You will also be asked to pay a symbolic fee of three to five euro upon entering the temple.

Visitors are encouraged to choose between a singular and a guided visit to the church and the surrounding space. Both of these options include not only the church but also the corresponding scenographic area beside it. Any visit includes watching two short films, an interactive animation, and a virtual tour to explore the volcanism, architecture, and paintings in the area. An average visit to Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe lasts between an hour and two hours, depending on your speed and the way you want to experience the place.

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

Where is it on the Map?

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

Explore more places in Europe

See more in Can't retrieve term. In case if you changed taxonomy slug for this term, please update widget settings to use new taxonomy slug.
Explore more nearby places in France

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a place with a unique vibe and a rather striking appearance. This is where the Romans used to worship Mercury, kneeling in a prehistoric single-chamber tomb. This is where later Archangel Michael was praised by the Christians of the early Middle Ages. This is where the mother of Joan of Arc used to come and pray.

This is a picturesque Romanesque chapel reachable by climbing 268 steps cut into a rock. And the rock? The rock is a volcanic plug.

Fascinating, isn’t it? And it is not even a fairytale material. You can actually visit the place anytime by booking your ticket to the Aiguilhe commune in the Haute-Loire department, France.

A brief history of Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

The chapel was built in the winter of 951 by Bishop Godescalc. This remarkable man from Le Puy-en-Velay erected the temple to celebrate his safe return home from a faraway overland pilgrimage across the Pyrenees.

He fancied the place because of its vibrant history as a point of worship from prehistoric times. The little church atop the volcanic rock is dedicated to the Archangel Michael, probably because of his ability to appear on mountain tops and different peaking points.

Later, sometime during the 12th century, the church on the volcano was furtherly expanded. A few additional architectural and decorative elements were added, including two side chapels, a sculptured portal, a bell tower, a significantly higher number of frescoes, and more.

Practical information about visiting Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe

The opening hours of the chapel may undergo slight variations throughout the year. You can generally assume that 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM is a safe bet anytime except for the Christmas holidays. You will also be asked to pay a symbolic fee of three to five euro upon entering the temple.

Visitors are encouraged to choose between a singular and a guided visit to the church and the surrounding space. Both of these options include not only the church but also the corresponding scenographic area beside it. Any visit includes watching two short films, an interactive animation, and a virtual tour to explore the volcanism, architecture, and paintings in the area. An average visit to Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe lasts between an hour and two hours, depending on your speed and the way you want to experience the place.

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe

Where is it on the Map?

Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe