No irreverence intended, if you want to meet the Virgin Mary, Valfleury is the place to go. The miraculous discovery of the statue made the village a place of worship. With the monuments that go with it.
We are in the year of our Lord, 800 AD. Christmas is coming.
In the dead of night, a statue of the Virgin appears in a bush in Valfleury.
A miracle that would mark the village for ever (it has to be said miracles are a rarity in this lowly world).
The upshot was the town became a place of pilgrimage (impossible to explain what a place has to go through to get that label).
And so, as you can see, the Church occupies a central place in the village. To get to it follow the arrow (there really is an arrow).
If you get lost on the way, there are plenty of clues around the streets, and the 15 church bells will soon get you back on track.
Because here they don't mess with faith. "La Vierge au Genêt d’Or" (the statue) crops up in every conversation.
And it has to be said that every year over 3,500 people make the pilgrimage to see her.
Ah yes, a little tip, if ever you're passing through Valfleury, driven by faith or just the curiosity of the tourist, bear in mind that the inhabitants are known as Valfleurantins and not "coflachures" (dialect for those who sell their goats after rubbing their udders with nettles to make them look bigger) as there were at one time. That was something to do with some murky story involving goat's udders and nettles that left a bad memory. So let's try to avoid upsetting our hosts, who seem to have connections in high places. You never know what might hit us.
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