A small market town in Midi-Pyrenees, Lourdes is one of the most famous Marian sites. A place of special religious significance for Catholics ever since 1858, it welcomes millions of visitors annually from all around the globe. Its spiritual renown has made Lourdes the third most popular place of pilgrimage in the world. Since 2011, Lourdes has also been placed second on the list of French hotel-towns, after Paris and before Nice.
Lourdes: small town with a breathtaking panorama of the Pyrenees.
About twenty kilometers from Pau, Lourdes is a commune located in the Occitania region in the department of Hautes-Pyrénées. At the foot of the mountain, Lourdes is established on two sectors: the lower city where the sanctuary is located, and the upper city where various monuments of the city are grouped together. The commune is crossed by several streams including the Gave de Pau. It extends over an altitude of between 343 and 960 metres. Close to this place of pilgrimages several ski resorts welcome winter sports enthusiasts: Cauterets, Argelès-Gazost... You will stay in a charming hotel in Lourdes to go to the sanctuary or enjoy the ski slopes. A hotel in Lourdes welcomes all tourists.
Lourdes: place of pilgrimage
Lourdes is a Catholic pilgrimage centre dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Bernadette Soubirous is at the origin of the construction of the sanctuary. This girl recounted that when she went to collect wood near the Gave, the Virgin Mary appeared to her 18 times in the grotto of Massabielle. During these apparitions, the Virgin asked her to go and ask the priests to build a chapel and to come in procession. The Catholic Church recognized the apparitions described by Bernadette and built several buildings over time, including the Basilica of the Rosary, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Basilica of St. Pius X, a Way of the Cross and the Church of St. Bernadette. The sanctuary also includes an esplanade, the cave where the apparitions took place, several fountains and swimming pools and service buildings. If you wish to visit the sanctuary, you can stay in a charming hotel in Lourdes.
Lourdes: natural and architectural heritage
In the upper town, a hotel in Lourdes or even better, a charming hotel in Lourdes opens its doors to you. From this part of town, you visit the castle. The latter is a medieval fortification located in the centre of Lourdes, on a rocky promontory. You will discover a drawbridge, a dungeon and from the top of the ramparts, a magnificent panorama of the city, the Pyrenees and the sanctuary. A museum and botanical garden complete the richness of this historic monument. The Sacred Heart Church was built in 1875 and completed in 1936. The Romanesque Revival-style building holds a fragment of the cassock worn by Pope John Paul II during the 1981 bombing. Lourdes has several museums, including the one in Lourdes (it tells the history of the city from 1858 to today), the wax museum, the Pyrenean museum...
Leaving from your hotel in Lourdes, you can stroll through small alleys and admire beautiful restored facades, stop in front of the Boly mill belonging to Bernadette's parents, which is now a museum, stroll around Lake Lourdes or take a funicular ride to the Pic du Jer.