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Light on the Stones: The Medieval Church of Vézelay
24 minutes

Vaults of the Nave and Choir —

Moses and the Golden Calf —

This video explores the architecture, sculpture and history of the medieval church in Vézelay, a hill town in the Burgundy region of France. The church, formerly a Benedictine abbey founded in the year 836, combines a warm, colorful Romanesque nave and a delicate white Gothic choir, allowing for comparisons of the two styles within the same building.Diagrams help explain the campaigns of construction.

The camera moves through the building at floor level in natural light, revealing its details as a visitor would see them while walking through the church.

A musical background of chant and early polyphony appropriate to the periods of construction is heard between passages of dialogue. The music was selected and directed by medieval music historian Professor Richard Crocker with additional music by the Deller Consort.

Light on the Stones can serve as an introduction to Romanesque and Gothic architecture, Romanesque sculpture, and the complex spaces of a medieval church.

Teacher's Guide: ( Free Download - 1MB PDF). This guide elaborates the information, scenes, and music contained in the video, as well as the history of the cathedral. It includes excerpts from The Chronicle of Vézelay, written around 1167, which describes the abbey’s relations, often fraught, with the Bishop of Autun, the counts of Nevers, and the burgers of Vézelay.

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Excerpts: Watch this video excerpt - Vezelay