Reading the Sculptures

The language written into the stones ...

Marquee Reading

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

The "Reading Capitals" workshop takes place in the Basilica.

Part of the time in silence, at other moments in conversation.

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

The "Reading Capitals" workshop program

Firstly :

Basilica of Vézelay reading of Chapiteau
  • Inviting
    The participants of the workshop are invited by the guide to gather around the same capital listen to the image and name its shapes .
  • Read
    Then in the light of the biblical and patristic tradition, and in some cases reference to other ancient sources, the guide places the image in the context theological, philosophical and mythological of the twelfth century.
  • Interpret
    Drawing on the initial observation of the image given by the craftsman and a reading of it enlightened by tradition, each in silence takes time to welcome the sculpture as a "word" addressed to him personally.

In a second phase :

  • transmit
    The group is divided up into groups of two or three. Each small group is entrusted with examining a new sculpture that he will explore along the lines of the initial demonstration so as to then guide the eyes of all the 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 XIInd century speaks to the 21nd !

Practical details

Duration 2h45-XNUMXhXNUMX 
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 Center proposes the "Reading Capitals in the Basilica" workshops  in December around the winter solstice, when the capitals are alive with light at certain times of the day. Dates and times above.
To Groups and private tours dates and times on request, minimum package 180 €
Contact: + 33 (0) 3 86 32 35 65 -