Lourdes is a French commune located in the department of Hautes-Pyrenees. The town of Lourdes has 16,000 inhabitants. It's famous as a pilgrimage destination, and since 1858, millions of pilgrims have come here, since a girl named Bernadette Soubirous saw the Virgin Mary in a cave. The Sanctuary of Lourdes is frequented by thousands of pilgrims.
It´s an amazingly peaceful place. A visit is highly recommended regardless of your religious beliefs. The natural setting is quite spectacular. The people there are also very friendly so no one feels like an outsider.
My mother and I traveled to Lourdes for the long weekend in May and we were very impressed and astonished to see and visit the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, it is downright impressive inside. I took numerous photos, and recommend visiting this holy place. It is extremely beautiful, not only for the peace and tranquility you can breathe there, but for its beautiful architecture.
The center of devotion for pilgrims of Lourdes is in this cave, the grotto of Massabielle, where the Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette 18 times. Now there is an altar with a large chandelier and at the bottom of the cave you can drink water gushing from the rock. They have also placed a Carrara Marble statue of the Immaculate Conception. Thousands of pilgrims come every year moved by faith and hope to find a cure for their or their family´s illnesses. There are also many who give thanks.
In Lourdes you will find a Christian paradise. Seeing the representation of the Virgin, called more attention to the spirituality that permeates the atmosphere. Advisable if you like standing in line: stand in line to see the virgin up close, to enter the church and to grab "healing" water line. For those who go just out of interest and not for worship, the virgin is not inside the temple but rather underneath on the outside, on the side nearest the river. Next to the fountain.
It is common to refer to all the buildings at this site in France as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes. In reality, the site is made up of a number of different buildings and locations, namely the Grotto of Miracles, the route of the 14 stations of Christ, the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary and the Church (called a Basilica by some, which architecturally spoken is incorrect). St. Anne d'Auray forms the main building and is located in the highest area, with the air cathedral and the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary. Its name was not chosen randomly and it is placed over the grotto where the Virgin Mary appeared. St. Anne was the mother of the Virgin and hence the church received this name. It was built between 1865-1872 by fusing Renaissance and Gothic elements, creating a colorful effect, which is enhanced from the bottom near the cave. The interior is beautiful, with many windows and images of the Virgin of Lourdes and Jesus Christ on the Cross on either side of the altar. This certainly is a beautiful place where you can practice your faith and again believe in miracles. This even taking into account the tourist aspect illustrated by the many shops that surround this beautiful corner.
Unspeakable, the torchlight procession every day, at dusk, carrying the Virgin of Lourdes, and a procession of worshipers, heading it are the most weak and sick,carried by uniformed volunteers. You have to see it to believe it, people of all nationalities congregate with a single goal, Our Lady of Lourdes that heas the sick, there are many ve claim to have been healed, and they have risen over the wheelchair and have cast gait. The blind say they see.
The Grotto of the Apparitions is in front of the basilica, on the right side. On the left there is a mountain called Espelugues, where the pilgrimage route of miracles, where sculptures in gold represent the 14 stations of Christ. This road is called Via Crucis and in the case of Lourdes, it is not only a religious path of pilgrimage and penance but also one of beautiful views of the village and its castle, and (if conditions permit) of the Pyrenees. The complete path is circular and has a length of 1500 meters. It is sometimes a difficult landscape, at times being a half-mountainous, half- forest path. But it is both religious and secular (or merely visual and cultural), if you have time, it's worth it.
This might not be the most popular thing to do, but I'm going to write a short article about visiting Lourdes for non-believers! Well, you can admire the Basilica, with its candles and pools. After that, follow the pilgrims' route along the banks of the River Gave. For my part, I always end up leaving with a souvenir ... a kitsch candle for my living room.
Of all the wonderful things to see in Lourdes, the world-famous Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is a Catholic pilgrimage site consisting of several churches and a grotto which, according to Bernadette Soubirous, was the sight of one of history's most famous Marian apparitions. It is known as the Grotto of Massabielle and is not only the star of the sanctuary, but also one of the most important attractions in Lourdes.
Many of the other things to do in Lourdes also relate to Bernadette Soubirous. Highlights include the Moulin de Bolu where she was born; the Cachot, or dungeon, on Petits-Fosses, or the Moulin Lacade which was Soubirous' father's home. The city walls and the museum of popular traditions also rank among the most popular Lourdes attractions.
If you've already visited the Sanctuary and the city center, don't worry, there is plenty of other interesting stuff to do in Lourdes. Pay a visit to the Château fort de Lourdes at the entrance of the seven valleys of Lavedan. Just a few kilometers further is another of the most important places to visit in Lourdes: the Pyrenees National Park, a majestic and mountainous park which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site
From historic religious sites to amazing national parks, you'll never be stuck wondering what to do in Lourdes! To find more information on the best Lourdes activities and attractions, have a look at all the trips and recommendations from real travelers in the minube community.