Le Puy-en-Velay is a town nearby the source of the river Loire in the Haute-Loire department in south-central France. The old nucleus of the town is located around the eroded cinder cone in the crater of an extinct volcano.
On the slope of the cinder cone was built Le Puy-en-Velay's most striking attraction is the Cathedral Notre-Dame du Puy, dating chiefly from the first half of the 12th century. The cathedral has been a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1998. On the top of the cone is situated the monumental bronze statue of the Virgin Mary. The statue is actually a watch tower made from the melted 213 Russian cannons taken in the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855). The sculpture was built in 1860. Nearby the old nucleus of the town is another smaller cinder cone with the chapel Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe on the top.