Reading sculpture workshop in the Basilica of Vézelay

Reading of sculptures in the Basilica of Vézelay

The language of the stones ...

The capitals (or sculptures) have things to tell us. Before books, men made stones speak. So take time to listen to them. If their messages sometimes seem to you to be written in a foreign language, our guide is there to help you decipher it. That's why the Sculpture Reading workshop takes place in the Basilica of Vézelay.

Half the time in silence, half in sharing.

It will leave you with lasting memories, amazed to be able to be touched at heart by a voice from the depths of time.

Reading of sculptures in the Basilica of Vézelay

How the reading sculpture workshop in the Basilica of Vézelay is planned

Firstly :

  • Receive
    First, the participants of the workshop are invited by the guide to gather around the same capital to "listen" attentively to what the image says and name its shapes .
  • Read
    Then in the light of the biblical and patristic tradition, and in some cases the references to other ancient sources, the guide places the image in the theological, philosophical and mythological context of the twelfth century.
  • Interpret
    Finally, thanks to first looking at the image offered by the craftsman and a reading of it enlightened by tradition, each person silently takes time to welcome the sculpture as a "word" addressed to him personally.

Secondly :

  • transmit
    The group is divided up into groups of two or three. Each small group is entrusted with examining a new sculpture that it will explore along the lines of the initial demonstration so as to then guide the eyes of all the other participants of the workshop. The time taken to make the stone speak is a way to make it heard in the present, to make life spring up from it for us today, in short to actualize it; the XIIrd century speaks to the 21rd !

Practical details

Duration 2h45 
Price per person:

Adults € 20 / Groups € 18/13 - 24 years old, pilgrims, job seekers € 12
The Visitor Center takes care of the donation to the Basilica.
Before participating in this workshop, it is recommended to follow "the Basilica Unveiled" visit and to have already discovered the Basilica.


To For individuals : the Visitor's House proposes reading sculpture workshops in the Basilica of Vézelay in December around the winter solstice, when the sculptures are lit directly by sunlight at certain times of the day. Dates and times below.
To Groups and private tours dates and times on request, minimum package 180 €
Contact: + 33 (0) 3 86 32 35 65 -