Lourdes in France is a small market town, nestled at the foot of the Pyrenees. Although home to a large fortified castle that rises out of the rocky cliffs, the town is famous for its eighteen apparitions of Our Lady to Bernadette Soubirous. The town has has been home to many miraculous healing’s and is therefore a very important Roman Catholic Pilgrimage location. Due to the amounts of people who flock to Lourdes each year, Lourdes is second to Paris for hotels per square KM, with over 270 hotels taking in the annual 5 million visitors.
Lourdes is overlooked from the south by the Pyrenean peaks of Aneto, Montaigu, and Vignemale, while around the town there are three summits which are known as the Béout, the Petit Jer (with its three crosses) and the Grand Jer (with its single cross). The Grand Jer is accessible via the funicular railway of the Pic du Jer. The Béout was once accessible by cable car, although this has fallen into disrepair. A pavilion is still visible on the summit. As Lourdes is pretty central, the River ‘Gave de Pau’ winds its way through the towns heart and past the Grotto where the apparitions took place.
Lourdes is served by Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport although many visitors also fly to Pau Pyrénées Airport. The town’s train station is served by SNCF and TGV trains, including some that provide overnight ‘sleeper’ services. The journey from Paris to Lourdes by train lasts five hours by TGV high speed trains. Many pilgrims also arrive via bus service from France and Spain.
On 11 February 1858, a 14-year-old local girl, Bernadette Soubirous, claimed a beautiful lady appeared to her in the remote Grotto of Massabielle. The lady later identified herself as “the Immaculate Conception” and the faithful believe her to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. The lady appeared 18 times, and by 1859 thousands of pilgrims were visiting Lourdes. A statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was erected at the site in 1864.
Bernadette Soubirous was born in Lourdes on 7th. January 1844 to François Soubirous and Louise Castérot. Francois, a miller. Her sickness affected her schooling and despite being 14 years of age she was not allowed to receive her First Holy Communion and was unable to read or write. In November of 1857 she was sent to Bartrès, the little village close to Lourdes to work on the farm.
The Marian Apparitions at Lourdes were reported in 1858 by Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old miller’s daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France. From February 11 to July 16, 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of “a Lady”. Despite initial skepticism from the Roman Catholic Church, these claims were eventually declared to be worthy of belief after a canonical investigation, and the apparition is known as Our Lady of Lourdes.
In contrast to the grandness of Rosary Square and the various basilicas, the grotto at Massabielle where St Bernadette’s visions took place is very simple and stark. The recess of the grotto itself is undecorated, although a plain stone altar and lectern have been placed there so that Mass can be said. Above the main recess is the niche where the apparitions took place and Fabisch’s statue now stands. A large stand of candles next to the altar is kept burning during the season.
The Crypt was the first of the churches to be completed in the Domain, and is today among the smallest. Construction was started by Abbé Peyramale and Mgr. Laurence. Bernadette’s father worked on its construction and was present at its official opening, on Pentecost Sunday, 1866. The nave is small and a notable feature are the enormous pillars which support the weight of the Upper Basilica
The Rosary Basilica is the third of the churches to be completed on the site (after the Crypt and the Upper Basilica). It was designed by architect Leopold Hardy and completed in 1899. It was consecrated in 1901 and has a capacity of 1,500 worshippers. Its style is influenced by Byzantine architecture. In 2006-7 the interior and exterior of the basilica were extensively renovated and the mosaics (many of which were deteriorating) were restored.
The Basilica of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, known widely as the “Upper Church”, is a Roman Catholicchurch and minor basilica within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. Constructed between 1866 and 1872 and consecrated in 1876, it was the second of the churches to be completed. The church was built on top of the rock above the Grotto and next to the Basilica of our Lady of the Rosary . Designed by architect Hippolyte Durand, the Neo-Gothic church seems to emerge directly from the rock of Massabielle
The Basilica of St. Pius X, known as the Underground Basilica, is a large Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, located in the town of Lourdes, France. It is part of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. The Basilica was designed by the architect Pierre Vago. The nave is oval, 191 metres (627 ft) long and 61 metres (200 ft) wide, and slopes gently upwards from the centre, where the sanctuary is situated on a raised platform.
The open space in front of the Rosary Basilica is known as Rosary Square. The entrances to the Crypt and the Upper Basilica, both of which are built on top of Massabielle, are far above ground level. To facilitate access, two enormous ramps were constructed, which curve down either side of Rosary Square.
An iconic image of Lourdes is the tall, conical stand containing votive candles which are burnt constantly in the Grotto. Pilgrims may purchase candles (white, with a blue base) to be burnt here as a devotional gesture, or bring their own. Candles of many different sizes may be burnt in the Domain; the largest are two metres tall and require more than one person to lift them—such candles are usually bought by groups of pilgrims, and typically burn continuously for over a week.
Lourdes water is water which flows from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by an apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes on 25 February 1858. Since that time many thousands of pilgrims to Lourdes have followed the instruction of Our Lady of Lourdes to “drink at the spring and wash in it”.
Stations of the Cross (or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, or simply, The Way) is a series of artistic representations, very often sculptural, depicting Christ Carrying the Cross to his crucifixion in the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus before he died, and the devotions using that series to commemorate the Passion, often moving physically around a set of stations.
The Blessed Sacrament procession is held daily at 4.30pm. The procession begins at the open-air altar in the Prairie, and is usually led by a priest or bishop carrying a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament. Typically the bearer of the Blessed Sacrament is sheltered from the elements by a mobile awning carried by four assistants.
Our Museum showcases several leading characters s of Christianity. The famous “Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci. Key passages of the New Testament and the life of Bernadette Soubirous.Jean Paul II, Mother Teresa etc . The “Wax Museum Lourdes” opens its doors and invites you to discover a precious heritage that allows you to go back in time to relive the fabulous stories and meet great people who gave their time
Little Lourdes transports you into the past in the footsteps of Bernadette and you discover the true story and the true birth of Lourdes in 1858. The visitor walks in the heart of Old Lourdes with its houses, rivers, historical monuments reproduced in a beautiful garden of flowers and miniature trees (bonsai).
The château fort de Lourdes is a historic castle located in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées département of France. It is strategically placed at the entrance to the seven valleys of the Lavedan. It has been listed since 1933 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture.
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