No 10

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A place of pilgrimage for the world’s Catholics, Lourdes is the most beloved Shrine, where pilgrims gather from all over the globe


At the Grotto of Massabielle the Virgin is said to have appeared 18 times to Bernadette between February 11 and July 16, 1858.

This venerated site is accessible to pilgrims both day and night, and Mass is celebrated there every day. The Statue of Our Lady depicts the Virgin in the posture she is said to have taken in the place she reputedly appeared.

At the back of the Grotto, on the left of the Altar, is the Miraculous Spring that reportedly spouted during the ninth apparition.

The Upper Basilica was built in the 13th century but was not consecrated until 1876. On the west side of the square is the Rosary Basilica which was built in 1889 in the Roman-Byzantine style and holds up to 4,000.

The increasing number of pilgrims eventually overcrowded the original basilica and the oval Basilica of Pius X was consecrated in 1958. This enormous underground chamber covered by a concrete roof, is 660 feet long and 270 feet wide, holding as many as 20,000. It is one of the world's largest churches.

For a different view of the town of Lourdes and the countryside around visit the Pic du Jer.  One of three peaks surrounding the town, it can be recognised by its big cross, which is lit up at night.

You can reach the top by taking a hundred-year-old funicular, which will take you to the top at an altitude of 1000 metres in a few minutes while you enjoy the scenery.  

At the top, a short walking trail will take you to the observatory, where you will find a panoramic viewpoint offering a 360° view of Lourdes, Tarbes, Pau, the Argelès Gazost valley and the peaks of the Pyrenees.