World Heritage Site: Vézelay is principally noted for Vézelay Abbey (Basilica of St. Magdalene), [dated] since the 9th century.

According to legend, not long before the end of the first millennium, a monk named Baudillon brought relics (bones) of Mary Magdalene to Vézelay from Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume. In 1058 the Pope confirmed the genuineness of the relics, leading to an influx of pilgrims that has continued to this day.

Vézelay Abbey was also a major starting point for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, one of the most important of all medieval pilgrimage centres. This was crucially important in attracting pilgrims and the wealth they brought to the town.