The Chapel of St Michael d'Aiguilhe is a pilgrimage chapel perched atop a volcanic plug in Le Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne. Jutting dramatically towards heaven, the rock has been a sacred place for thousands of years: a prehistoric dolmen was built there and the Romans dedicated it to Mercury before the Christians built a chapel to St. Michael. The Chapel was built in 962. It was a simple shrine on a central plan: a square sanctuary with a tiny apsidole on each side. This original sanctuary still survive today. In the 12th century, the chapel was enlarged by adding a short nave west of the original sanctuary, two side chapels, a carved portal, and a bell tower.
Jérôme Robart as Louis XV
Louis XV. had the most magnificent head it was possible to see, and he carried it with as much grace as majesty. Never did even the most skilful painter succeed in rendering justice to the expression of that beautiful head, when the king turned it on one side to look with kindness at anyone. His beauty and grace compelled love at once. As I saw him, I thought I had found the ideal majesty which I had been so surprised not to find in the king of Sardinia, and I could not entertain a doubt of Madame de Pompadour having been in love with the king when she sued for his royal attention. I was greatly mistaken, perhaps, but such a thought was natural in looking at the countenance of Louis XV.