Le Puy-en-Velay, also known sas the Chemin du Puy, is considered to be one of the most popular routes in France which reaches all the way to the town of Santiago De Compostela, which is a destination many pilgrims travel to each year. The Camino de Santiago, known also as the Way of Saint James, provides spiritual gratification and fulfillment for many members of the Christian community. It is believed that the city of Santiago emanates special powers which are of a religious nature, especially when this is the place where the remains of Saint James have been believed to lay rest in. The Le Puy route joins in with what is probably considered as the top choice for pilgrims, the Camino Frances. Back in the old days, it was simply known as the Via Podensis, which is just one of the 4 known pilgrim routes located in France. It is a route most often used by Pilgrims from France back in the day and even up to now, although travelers from Germany, Poland and Switzerland also use it. Below are some interesting points of interest to come across when pilgrims decide to walk to the Camino de Santiago starting in Le Puy.
- There is a small chapel located along the Allier river which was built back in the 12th century. Upon visiting this site, one would simply encounter a dim location which was packed with a cool breeze. Seeing the light passing through the arched window will allow travelers to see a rugged statue of Saint James himself. This was certainly a place which many pilgrims back in the medieval times would seek some rest and solace in. It was also a place of prayer among knights of the old days, which makes perfect sense since there is a ruined castle just along the river as well.
- The Aubrac is recognized to be one of the most barren quarters in the whole of France. There are very few farmsteads and small villages which can be passed through along the green plateaus. Back in the Middle Ages, it was known to be a rather fearsome place that pilgrims would try to avoid as much as possible, considering that it was the lair of several beasts and bandits. According to stories from the townsfolk, some Flemish noblemen would try to escape death rather narrowly. There are some rather imposing structures to be found in Aubrac, including a stone church and a few fortifications which was meant to fend off incoming armies.
- One will expect to make his or her way to the Armagnac, which is a subdivision of the wine country known as Bordeux. Travelers will certainly be glad to come upon the Floc de Gascone, which is essentially grape juice fermented for nearly 10 months.
These are just some of the small yet highly notable locations that tourists and pilgrims will come across upon journeying to Santiago starting in Le Puy. Apart from a profound spiritual experience, there are certainly some intimate moments to be encountered.
Leslie loves hill walking and writing his routes on the web. He has been running the main Camino de Santiago and Walking in Scotland site since 2006. Click on Starting in Le Puy to discover more routes going to your destination in this pilgrimage.