Lourdes, the pilgrimage city, is the second most visited city in France. Most visitors are pilgrims from all ober the world. The story of Bernadette, the many pilgrimages and the beauty of nature in the Pyrennees will touch everyone. Visit France.
The small city of Lourdes in south-western France is known worldwide for the 18 apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858.
Lourdes is a place of pilgrimage. 200 million people have visited the shrine since 1860. The Catholic Church has officially recognised 67 miraculous healings, stringently examined for authenticity.
Lourdes is 668 kilometers south from Paris. By car, it is a long way unless you stay a week in this lovely area. You could also be on your way to Spain.
On the way from Paris to Lourdes, visit the Chateaux de la Loire and the Bordeaux wine country and town.
There are direct flights by Air France to Pau near by and direct TGV trains. See schedule and booking.
Lourdes is a pilgrimage city. For the faithful, it is the encounter with our Lady of Lourdes and the pilgrims. Masses take place in various languages. Check Sanctuary web site for mass schedule.
For skeptics, Lourdes is a fascinating place to be respected. Skip the commercial street leading to the sanctuary. Attend a mass in Pie X Basilica or at the Grotto. Stay in the gardens feeling the pilgrim faithful atmosphere. You will be deeply moved.
Lourdes is at the foot of the Pyrenees, the beautiful mountains at the border between France and Spain. Three sights close to Lourdes are worth the trip: the Gavarnie Cirque (Distance between Gavarnie and Lourdes is 40 kilometers), the Pyrenees National Park and Pic du Midi. Enjoy nature around Lourdes.
Bernadette was born in Lourdes in 1844 from poor parents. On February 11, 1858, she was sent to gather firewood, when a beautiful lady appeared to her in a grotto. Three days later, Bernadette and other girls returned to the grotto, and saw the lady again. On February 18th, Bernadette said the vision asked her to return each day for a fortnight. With each visit, Bernadette saw the Virgin Mary. On February 25th, the vision told her to drink of the water of the spring, to wash in it and to eat the herb that grew there as an act of penance. The next day, the grotto's muddy waters had been cleared and fresh clear water flowed. On March 2nd, Bernadette told her family the lady said "a chapel should be built and a procession formed.". On March 25th, Bernadette asked the woman her name, she finally said "I am the Immaculate Conception." Church authorities and the French government rigorously interviewed the girl, and by 1862 confirmed she spoke truth. 69 cures have been verified by the Lourdes Medical Bureau after rigorous medical examinations, no one was able to explain what caused the cures.