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Vézelay: Benedictine Abbey of Sainte Marie Madeleine



What’s online?

This collection contains visual images of the Benedictine abbey church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine at Vézelay photographed by Dr. Alison Stones and Jane Vadnal.

What’s in the entire collection?

All of the images on the website were organized by Dr. Stones (Professor Emerita M. Alison Stones, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh).

About the Benedictine abbey church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine at Vézelay

The Benedictine abbey church of Sainte-Marie-Madeleine at Vézelay in Burgundy is one of the most important surviving monuments of architecture and sculpture of the Romanesque period. It was a pilgrimage church in its own right, allegedly holding the relics of St. Mary Magdalene to whom it is dedicated, and it also stood at the beginning of one of the four major routes through France for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, in the north-western corner of Spain. The early twelfth-century building is notable for its groin-vaulted nave and narthex, and for its remarkable programme of sculpture on portals and capitals. The choir dates from the end of the twelfth century and is an important witness to the adoption of the Gothic style in Burgundy. The sculpture on the outer facade was largely destroyed at the French Revolution; fragments of it survive in the cloister. The inner facade and capital sculptures have undergone considerable restoration.

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