Lourdes, located at the foothills of the Pyrenean mountains, is a city of mystery. The Fortified castle that dominates the centre of the city attracts your eye, however, the millions of visitors to Lourdes are there for something other than the sights. Lourdes, France, has become famous world wide due to the pilgrimage many people make to the area due to events said to have occurred in the past. It is the spiritual sanctuaries that bring people pouring into the historical city.
Why does Lourdes have such a spiritual draw for people? The pilgrimage to Lourdes is founded on the belief that Bernadette Soubiroux had apparitions of the Virgin Mary whilst living in Lourdes. The first apparition seen by Bernadette was on 11 February 1856 when she was 14. Altogether she is said to have seen 18 apparitions with the final one on 16 July 1856. The vision she saw was in the hollow of a rock called Massabielle. Only Bernadette and occasionally the seer would see and hear the vision. On a particular occasion she was told by the vision to approach the priests to build a chapel on the spot and for processions to be organized to the grotto. It was only 1862 that the bishop decided to fulfill this having at first been somewhat skeptical. A basilica was built upon Massabielle. In 1873 the French pilgrimages to Lourdes were initiated. In 1901 the Church of the Rosary was consecrated. A special commemoration Mass is held each 11 February.
Lourdes has many museums. The Lourdes museum provides visitors with extensive information on the history of Lourdes particularly that relating to the time of the apparitions. View over 4 000 other items as well as life-size scenes. Musée Pyrénéen exhibits many Arts and Traditions of the region. The Grévin Museum in Lourdes is a popular tourist attraction. It features 18 scenes with over 100 life-size wax characters. It will bring the story of Lourdes to life.
There are about 270 hotels in Lourdes. From budget to luxury hotels in Lourdes you are certain to find what you seek.
Lourdes offers visitors a truly unique spiritual experience, a pilgrimage never to be forgotten.