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Lourdes grotto

THE APPARITION OF THE VIRGIN

This small town in the pretty foothills of the Pyrenees is in fact the largest religious pilgrimage site in France, and one of the top Roman Catholic attractions in the world. Each year some 5 million tourists and pilgrims visit this place where many miraculous events are said to have occurred.

It all began when the Virgin Mary appeared to a young peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, in a grotto in the hillside in 1858. The apparition showed Bernadette a hidden spring with divine properties, and called to Bernadette to build a sanctuary on this holy spot. From this date forth, many millions of pilgrims flocked to bathe in the healing waters of the sanctuary, praying for a miracle for themselves or their loved ones. 
 


Lourdes castle

THE TOWN ITSELF

A fortified castle dominates the skyline in Lourdes: this is one of the few monuments which predates Bernadette’s vision. Traces of the castle date back to Roman times, but the main structure was built in the 11th and 12th centuries, with fortifications such as the keep added in the 13th and 14th centuries, and more additions in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Don’t miss the grotto itself with its sanctuary which has seen over 200 million pilgrims since 1858, and witnessed 67 miraculous healings (this is the number of miracles which have been officially recognised by the Catholic Church).

The Rosary Basilica or “Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire” is covered with stunning 19th century mosaics by G.D. Facchina and is well worth a visit.
 


Pyrenee forest

THE BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPE

Beyond the town itself, the surrounding landscape is full of nature’s own miracles. Take the funicular railway up to the Pic du Jer hilltop, from which the famous cross glows at night, and admire the stunning views. Surrounded by the lakes and peaks of this region of the High Pyrenees you cannot fail to be moved.


A little further from Lourdes is the Cirque de Gavarnie, a natural rocky basin high in the mountains, a romantic spot favoured by Victor Hugo. You will see some breathtaking views over this rocky landscape, as well as the tallest waterfall in Europe.
 


Lourdes grotto and candels

THE GROTTO OF MASSABIELLE IN LOURDES

The holy grotto.

This grotto was named after the Massabielle rock in which it sits, piercing the rock to a depth of 9.5m. Three openings allow access to this cave, enter by the largest of these and you'll find that religious offices are celebrated here. You can also see a statue representing the Virgin Mary as she is said to have appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in the year 1858.

Look right down into the cave, to the left of the altar, and you will see the flowing spring which the apparition showed to Bernadette. This holy water feeds the fountains, the pools and the chemin de l’eau. Come and discover the mysteries of the grotto for yourself!

Place :
Grotte de Massabielle à Lourdes
Place Peyramale
65100 Lourdes
Getting There
Lourdes Station (TER, TGV)

For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
+33 562 427 740


the rosary basilica

OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY BASILICA

At the heart of the sanctuary in Lourdes.

The Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire basilica in Lourdes is first and foremost a place of worship and devotion. However, it is also a monument of great interest thanks to its decoration. With intricate Venetian mosaics, beautiful cupolas and side chapels, this is a church in the style and tradition of the best of byzantine architecture.

These mosaics, on an estimated total surface area of around 2 000m² were made over a period of just 12 years by the master mosaic maker of the 19th century, G.D. Facchina.

He was responsible for works including the ornamentation of the Opéra Garnier in Paris, the Kyoto Imperial Palace and the basilica of Our Lady of Sion in Jerusalem. The mosaics were applied to paintings by eminent late 19th century European artists.

Each chapel represents a scene from the mysteries of the Rosary. While the paintings are the work of several artists, these 15 chapels make up a harmonious ensemble.

All year long : every day, from 10:00 to 18:00

Admission prices : free

Place :
Basilica of our Lady of the Rosary
1 avenue Monseigneur-Théas
65100 Lourdes
+33 562 427 878
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Getting There :
Lourdes Station (TER, TGV)

For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
+33 562 427 740
 


waxwork museum

WAXWORKS MUSEUM

Famous scenes, life-sized.

With a total of over 2 million visitors since it first opened, the Lourdes waxwork museum is one of the major tourist attractions in the town of Lourdes.
Discover 18 scenes and more than 100 characters depicted life size, presented by the artists of the prestigious Grévin Museum in Paris.
Scene after scene, you will experience the impassioned story of Christ and the life of Bernadette Soubirous.
After a visit to the museum you'll never forget these stories as you will feel as if you have seen them with your own eyes.

Length of visit: 35mn
Audioguides and sounds of the Cène in 8 languages

Opening hours :
From Tuesday 8 to Saturday 12 February 2011 :
- Every day, from 09:00 to 12:00
- Every day, from 13:45 to 18:30
- Sunday from 10:00 to 18:30
From Monday 28 March to Thursday 14 July 2011 :
- From Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 12:00
- From Monday to Saturday from 13:45 to 18:30
- Sunday from 10:00 to 18:30
From Friday 15 July to Monday 15 August 2011 :
- From Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 18:30
- Sunday from 10:00 to 18:30
From Tuesday 16 August to Friday 4 November 2011 :
- From Monday to Saturday from 09:00 to 12:00

Admission prices :
- Full price : 6.5 €
- From 6 to 12 years : 3.3 €
- Students : 5.2 €

Place :
Wax museum
87 rue de la Grotte
65100 Lourdes
+33 562 943 374
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Getting There :
Lourdes Station (TER, TGV)


For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
+33 562 427 740


spain castle

PONT D'ESPAGNE

Waterfalls, mountains and lakes.

At the gates of the Pyrenees National Park, the Pont d’Espagne "bridge of Spain" (1 496 m) is a protected natural area where you find the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire High Pyrenees region. It provides access to two major valleys that are worth exploring on foot: the Marcadau Valley, where high meadows give way to a beautiful landscape of lakes and mountains, and the Gaube Valley, with its lake which is accessible by chairlift.

The top of the valley leading to the lake is crossed by the north face of Vignemale, the highest point of the mountainous border with Spain. The ascent to the Gaube Lake (1hr walk) is one of the most beautiful and romantic walks you'll find.


Place :
Pont d'Espagne
65110 Cauterets

Getting There :
From Lourdes to Cauterets, you can take the TER bus all year round
From mid-June to mid-September, a shuttle service runs between Cauterets and the Pont d'Espagne (7km apart)

For more information :
Mairie
4, Place Georges Clémenceau
65110 CAUTERETS
+33 562 925 034
 


pyrenee mountains and a river

CIRQUE DE GAVARNIE

Stunning natural features.

The Cirque de Gavarnie, at an altitude of 1,600 metres, is listed as a world heritage site by Unesco. This natural "cirque", an amphitheatre-like valley head, lies near the village of the same name, around fifty kilometres from the town of Lourdes.

Nestled in the emblematic landscape of the High Pyrenees, the cirque de Gavarnie is a favourite among walkers and nature-lovers, and for the great figures of romanticism, including Victor Hugo. The "Colosseum of nature", as Victor Hugo called the Cirque, has a "wall" which towers at 3248m (pic du Marboré) and this magical place also boasts the largest waterfall in Europe.


Place :
Cirque de Gavarnie
D 921
65120 Gavarnie-Gedre

Getting There :
From Lourdes, take the Maligne bus to Gavarnie which runs mid-June to mid-September


For more information :
Tourist Office
65120 GAVARNIE-GEDRE
+33 562 924 910
 


a violon

INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF RELIGIOUS MUSIC IN LOURDES

From the epicentre of religious music.

Performed by major ensembles from all over France and from abroad, the concerts given at the International Festival of Religious Music in Lourdes revisit the classics within sacred music and will illustrate the different eras of the genre.

These talented vocal ensembles, performing in places with perfect acoustics, have the audience in rapture each year.

Ticket prices and schedule information on 33 562 427 740 (tourist office)

Place :
Basilica of our Lady of the Rosary
1 avenue Monseigneur-Théas
65100 Lourdes
33 562 427 878
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For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
05 62 42 77 40
In french www.festivaldelourdes.fr

Getting There :
Lourdes Station (TGV, TER)
 


nativity scene with jesus christ

NATIVITY SCENES OF THE WORLD - EXHIBITION AND SHOW  

From Friday, April 1 2011 to Monday, October 31 2011

Around the world in Nativity cribs..


Come marvel at the largest crèche, or nativity scene, in the world. The "cribs of the world" collection, also known as the Paul Chaland collection, brings together figurines, decorations and mechanical figures from over 70 countries. Together they tell the story of the Nativity but also give a worldview for all through the customs and cultures of the world.

In the tent which is divided into two spaces, the Paul Chaland collection of cribs of the world showcases 120 crèches from around the world, and also offers a show in which an 18m long nativity scene with 160 figurines comes to life before your eyes at the Grande Crèche Théâtre du Soleil, decorated in the colours of Provence. This is an exhibition and a show which has been a part of Lourdes for over ten years, and which is updated every year.

Capacity of performance space : 500 seats
Show written by Yvan Audouard and set to music by Guy Béart
160 figures made by Lise Berger (winner of "meilleure ouvrière de France")
Nativity scene by artist Angela Tripi
Visit lasts: 1h (show: 20 mins)
Ticket office in the tent and at the Kiosque Citybus, porte Saint-Joseph of the sanctuaries
Cité Saint-Pierre, near to the Auditorium Padre Pio (1 km from the sanctuaries)
Regular shuttle service from the Secours Catholique, porte Saint-Joseph, to the Cité Saint-Pierre
 

 

Opening hours :
From Friday 1 April to Monday 31 October 2011 : every day, from 13:00 to 19:00

Admission prices :
- Full price : 6 €
- Children : 4 €

Place :
Cité Saint-Pierre
avenue Monseigneur Rodhain
65100 Lourdes

For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
05 62 42 77 40
Groups : information on +33 562 461 930
www.creches-du-monde.com

Getting There :
Lourdes Station (TGV, TER)


gastronomy fraternall society - a group of people wearing blue dresses

GASTRONOMIC FESTIVAL 

Sunday, June 12 2011 

Where good food is taken very seriously.

The folklore and traditions of Provence are more alive than ever in Argeles on the occasion of the Confrériales gastronomiques. This is a gastronomic festival in which the confréries (local societies who take their food very seriously indeed) meet up to celebrate the local specialities. Try the typical local dish from Bigorre (an ancient region of the Hautes-Pyrenees): garbure, a cabbage soup with chunks of vegetables and ham. This is a lively celebration and everyone gets involved. Parades of confréries from the south-west, the choosing of new leaders, a traditional meal, a fine food market and much folklore from the Pyrenees mark this as a highlight of life in Provence.


Place :
Centre-ville d'Argelès-Gazost
Place de la République
65400 Argeles-Gazost

Getting There :
From Lourdes to Argelès, take the TER bus or the Maligne coach for 2€ (20 min journey)

For more information :
Tourist Office
65400 ARGELES-GAZOST
05 62 97 00 25
Enquiries on +33 562 970 025 or + 33 562 970 158


pyrenee mountains in a cloud

FROM LANDSCAPES TO LANDSCAPES - EXHIBITION

From Sunday, May 1 2011 to Sunday, June 26 2011 

The beauty of the Pyrenees.

The Pyrénéen Museum of Lourdes and the Espacio Pirineos de Graus in Aragon have collaborated to present this travelling exhibition. After a stint at the Pyrénéen Museum of Graus, the exhibition travelled to the Pyrénéen Museum of Lourdes, before crossing the Spanish border.

This exhibition, De paysages en paysages celebrates the grandeur of the Pyrenees mountains, which is more than a place to pass through. With its stunning landscapes this territory is here depicted in paintings dating from the nineteenth century to today. Contemporary artists also add to the exhibition with videos: there are as many representations of the Pyrenees as ways of imagining this land. And you, how will you remember these mountains?

Length of visit : 1h
Disabled access to the esplanade, botanical gardens and three rooms in the museum


Opening hours :
From Sunday 1 May to Sunday 26 June 2011 :
- Every day, from 09:00 to 12:00
- Every day, from 13:30 to 18:30

Admission prices :
- Full price : 5 €
- From 6 to 11 years : 3 €
- From 12 to 18 years : 3.5 €
- Doors open at 6 years : Free
- Reduced price : 3 €
- Disabled (adults) : 2 €

Place :
Musée Pyrénéen - Château fort de Lourdes
25 rue du Fort
65100 Lourdes
+33 562 423 737
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Getting There :
Lourdes Station (TGV, TER)

For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
+33 562 427 740
 
 


little train of the pyrenee

LOURDES AT THE TIME OF BERNADETTE - EXHIBITION 

From Thursday, February 10 2011 to Wednesday, November 30 2011

Through the eyes of Bernadette.

Above the town of Lourdes, the pic du Jer hilltop towers majestically. You can take the little train, the bus or the funicular railway (which is 100 years old) to get to the top of this very recognisable hill at whose summit the famous cross glows by night. At the top of the pic du Jer, enjoy a breathtaking view over the Tarbes, Pau, the valley of Argelès and the peaks of the Pyrenees.

You can also enjoy an exhibition here, one which focuses on Lourdes at the time of Bernadette Soubirous (the young shepherdess to whom the Virgin Mary appeared). A series of photos dating from the 19th century will help you see Lourdes at this time when its future was just beginning to change, as this town became the most popular pilgrimage destination in France.

Enquiries on +33 562 940 041
Accessible by mini train and by cityBus every 30mn


Opening hours :
From Friday 1 April to Friday 8 July 2011 :
- Every day, from 09:30 to 18:00
From Saturday 9 July to Friday 30 September 2011 :
- Every day, from 09:30 to 19:00
From Saturday 1 October to Wednesday 30 November 2011 :
- Every day, from 09:30 to 18:00

Place :
Pic du Jer Funicular
59 avenue Francis-Lagardère
65100 Lourdes
+33 562 940 041
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Getting There :
Lourdes Station (TGV, TER)

For more information :
Tourist Office
Place Peyramale
65100 LOURDES
+33 562 427 740



 

Last Updated on Friday, 25 November 2011 12:57