Reaching a "sacred mountain"
From afar, and even once we arrive, Vézelay seems to unfold itself before our eyes like a blessed landscape, similar to those centres of pilgrimage, art and history, which with which our world heritage is strewn.
Whether they be temples, monasteries, mosques, synagogues or cathedrals, centres of religious heritage such as these never cease to welcome, attract, or question. What they all have in common is the fact that they are above all places of transition on the journey towards the inner life of man. Their walls echo with ardent quests, bitter struggles, and private deliverances or promises. Their great spaces rise up, expressing transcendence and divine praises. It is to this that they owe their masterpiece.
Witness to the greatest of tragedies and the happiest of events, these stones stand alone, above even religious affiliation and personal convictions, or the calls and reminders of the sacred, that are peculiar to every man’s life, an aspect which makes of every man, in the words of Micea Eliade, an ‘homo religiosus’.
In such buildings, visible and invisible realities meet and unite, conversing in a language of symbols whose vocabulary often eludes our human understanding, and the more intense the beauty that ensues from this grows, the keener our frustration is felt. For this reason, a preparation or initiation of some sort is of paramount importance in order to truly disover or rediscover these sites.