Reading the Sculpture

Basilica of Vézelay at winter solstice illuminated capitals

The capitals have things to tell us. Before the books, the men made the stones speak. Take the time to listen to them. If their messages seem to you sometimes written in a lost language, our guide is there to help you understand it.

The workshop is held in the basilica. Half in silence, half in sharing. He will leave you lasting memories, the astonishment of being able to be reached in the heart by a voice from the depths of time.


In order to Groups et school groupsmust make a reservation for the workshop reservation.
In order to For individuals, the Maison du Visiteur organises sculpture reading workshops in December around the winter solstice, when the capitals are alive with light at certain times of the day. Dates and times are published on our facebook page

Duration : 2h45

Groups: 18 € per person, reduced 15 € per person (minimum package 180 €)
School fees: 12 € per person (minimum package 120 €)
Individuals (only in December): 20 € pp.

Before attending this workshop, it is advisable to follow the Visitor Centre tour or at least to have already visited the basilica.

Basilica of Vézelay capital the miser

The Sculpture Reading Workshop: Program

Firstly :

  • Receive
    The participants of the workshop are invited by the guide to assemble around the same capital so as to "listen" to the image and to name the different forms down to the details.
  • Read
    Then in the light of the biblical and patristic tradition, and in some cases reference to other ancient sources, the guide invites a way of reading the capital that takes into account the links between images and writings.
  • Interpret
    Drawing on the initial observation of the image offered by the craftsman and a reading enlightened by tradition, each person in silence takes time to make his own the sculpture like a word heard personally.

In a second phase :

  • transmit
    The group is sub divided in groups of two or three people Each small group is entrusted with the discovery of a new sculpture that they will explore following the approach given previously to guide the eyes of all the participants of the workshop The moment to make the stone speak , a way to make it heard in the present, to make life spring up for us today, in short to actualize it; when the XIIst talks to the XXIst !
Basilica of Vézelay Daniel in the lions' den