The Rocher Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe is a volcanic stump that sticks up just on the edge of the old town of Le Puy en Velay.
The first Christian chapel on the top was consecrated in the year AD 961 although there is believed to have been a Roman pagan temple there earlier. The first staircase to the Christian site was not built until some years after the chapel, a hardy lot back then.
Today I too climbed the steps to the chapel, something I first did over twenty five years ago and I’m certain there are far more now. It cost me €3.50 fo the privilege too but the nice girl in the ticket office assured me that I could have my money back if I died on the way up.
Thankfully I didn’t and I’m glad I made the effort. Even to a godless heathen like me it is a special place; simple, tranquil and modest but with a feeling of timeless reverence. There are also some traces of delightful old wall paintings just still visible. When I came out it was raining.
9 September 2014