Cruising Upper Loire Valley on the Meanderer ~ 713-240-6753 ~ 888-869-7907: The 6 passenger deluxe Meanderer is the only barge offering multiple excursion options. Choose from escorted cycling tours, walking tours or tours by mini van. Aboard this luxury barge cruise in France, you’ll get an opportunity to experience life there from a truly unique perspective.


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The Pilgrimage Site of Vézelay- Meanderer Barge Cruise

Meanderer Barge- The Pilgrimage Site of Vezelay

Meanderer Barge CruiseVezelay is a small town in the Burgundy region of France. This hill town is one of the most visited pilgrimage sites from the Medieval Age. It is located in an area of prominent pre-Christian sanctity. Though there is no information about the date of the original settlement of the town, its Les Fontaines Salées mineral springs have been favored for their therapeutic qualities since at least the 3rd millennium BC. Celtic presence is evident from the sixth century B.C., and Romans had constructed temples and thermal baths by the second century B.C.

The village of Vezelay was one of Europe’s most sacred places In the Middle Ages. Somewhere near 1050, local monks claimed they had acquired the miracle-working bones of St. Mary Magdalene. The announcement had such a fast and strong effect that, overnight, pilgrims from across Europe flocked to Vezelay to pray at St. Mary’s shrine. Vezelay obviously reaped huge benefits from the sudden influx of pilgrims who brought plenty of money.

Presently, Vezelay is visited by hundred of pilgrims desiring to pray at the Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene, and that number is increasing every year. This Basilica is one of the most magnificent masterpieces of Burgundian Romanesque art and architecture in France. It was listed on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites in 1979. The site is also called Vézelay Abbey, Basilique Ste. Madeleine, La Madeleine, Basilique de Vézelay, and Vézelay Basilica.

The dominant Basilica, to which all paths lead, is situated on the highest point of the city. It is a great monument to piety, where St. Mary’s relics are held in a darkened underground crypt honed from the rock. These are not the original relics that pulled thousands of Medieval pilgrims to Vézelay, as those were burned by French Calvinists during the 16th century Wars of Religion. The present relics were given in 1876 by the Archbishop of Sens. These relics were actually a gift from Pope Martin IV to the Diocese of Sens in 1281.

In addition to being the holy home of St. Mary’s relics, Vezelay was also witness to the launch of the Second and Third Crusades.

Six Passenger Meanderer Barge Cruise

Our six-passenger meanderer barge cruise offers an excursion to Vezelay on its Upper Loire Valley itineraries. Contact us for more details! Europeanbarging 888-869-7907