Heritage awareness for primary classes (CE1 to CM2) and 6th grade in Vézelay

Children do not apprehend the heritage like adults, they must be introduced into a story that awakens their imagination: here the heroes are “worker” builders, “image makers” and Benedictine monks. Different means are taken to ensure that this first contact of young students with heritage arouses their wonder. On the other hand, the visit of a religious building for pupils in public education must be done with respect for secularism and the plurality of religions without, however, ignoring the function of a church, the culture Christianity and the importance of religious pilgrimages which are at the origin of the enlargement of the Basilica of Vézelay in the XNUMXthrd century.

La discovery tour is done in two step : 1h20 to 1h30

The Visitor Center : 30 mn

Un time to see

After passing through the symbolic door, the guide introduces the students to the projection room. The film “In the Shadow of Light” shows the sculpture of the inner Great Tympanum (XIIrd century) up close as well as the play of light that takes place at each change of season in the Basilica.

Un time to understand

In front of a model of the Basilica placed under the course of the sun, the guide explains why and how the builders played with light thanks totheir very tall knowledge of the stars. They don'tdid not use the decimal system: the handling of the rod and the 12-knot ropedoes enter the students into an astonishing know-how.

Lat Basilica : 50mn

The guide takes the students on a tour of the exterior of Basilica, ilthe facts orient with respect to the sun. Il recounts the long walks of pilgrims towards Compostela and their motives. He talk to them about "Mary Magdalene” whose the Basilica bears the name.

Inside, the children go name the different spaces and understand their function: avant-nave, nave, chancel. The guide appeals to their ability to observe, invites them to name what they see, what they feel. With their participation, he reads one of the stories sculpted in the stone of the capitals by the “image makers” and le Gall Tympan shooting.

The discovery tour can start with the Basilica and end at the Visitor's House.

La discovery of the Basilica in situ can be done without the guides of the MVisitor's request if teachers wish to take over: la Maison du Visitor takes care of booking the group's visit to the Basilica.

You can complete the visit-discoveryby:

  • Historical Walks : Duration 1h45. From the village of Asquins you can see the Basilica and the village of Vézelay at the top of the hill. The guide evokes the routes of Compostela and leads the pupils in the footsteps of the pilgrims (2,5 km): through walking, physical effort, the sharing of bread (option to be requested) the pupils concretely enter into the process of a pilgrimage. Recommended on arrival, before the discovery tour. The historic march in the footsteps of pilgrims Duration 40 mins. Walk along the ramparts, pass under the fortified “New Gate”, with its casemate, climb or descend the stairs: this shorter visit allows you to talk about the pilgrimages to Compostela and the defensive role of the walls. It can take place after the discovery visit.
  • Drawing in the Basilica : durea 1h30. After having presented the purpose and procedure of this workshop to the students, the guide accompanies them in the Basilica: it is a question of looking first, of letting oneself be inspired before drawing; this first step allows the pupils to choose such a perspective or such a detail… and to risk themselves, pencils in hand, to express what they see. The workshop ends with a joint conclusion.  Recommended after the discovery tour. Drawing in the Basilica
  • Sculpture Reading Workshop : duration 1h30. The Basilica contains around 150 sculpted capitals that tell different stories! The guide proposes to the pupils to associate by two or three to draw the same capital. Secondly, each group presents to the others their drawings and the meaning of the capital they have drawn. The guide complements their explanations. Recommended after the discovery tour. Sculpture Reading Workshop 

    Contact us to organize your visit over one or two days


  • The visit to the Visitor's House: 6 € / pers.
  • The journey through the Basilica: € 5 / pers.
  • The historic walk: 6 € / pers.
  • The Regard workshop: € 8 / pers.


Dates and times on request. Minimum package of 90 €
Contact: + 33 (0) 3 86 32 35 65 - maisonduvisiteur@orange.fr