Vézelay Abbey

[Basilique à Vézelay]Benedictine and Cluniac monastery in Vézelay, France. The site of the abbey was a former Roman villa. The buildings were looted and the religious dispersed by Moorish invaders in the 8th century. Refounded in the 9th century under the guidance of Saint Badilo. Relics from Saint Mary Magdelene were housed there from 1050, and the church had to be modified several times to accomodate the flood of pilgrims. The abbey was a jumping off point for pilgrims headed to Santiago de Compostela, and for Crusaders headed to the Holy Lands. The Basilique Sainte-Marie-Madeleine was the abbey church, and in 1979 was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.