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Lourdes

N 435.837', W 03.204'
2019-10-10
https://en.lourdes-infotourisme.com/
Our rating: 6.40
Overall rating:
We stopped at Lourdes to spend the night. If you do not know what kind of city it is, then find out before visiting, as the city is very unusual.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

This is one of the main European pilgrimage centers. Despite the fact that less than 15 thousand people live in the city, more than 5 million pilgrims come here every year. As you might guess, the city consists mostly of hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. We spent the night at the Belfry Spa by l'Occitane (booking.com). Located right under the castle, in the city center, it has a swimming pool, outdoor parking and nice views from the upper floors.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak


Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak


Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak


Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

Pilgrims are lured here by the fact that, the Virgin Mary appeared to a 14-year-old local resident Maria Bernada 18 times during 1858. Subsequently, she was subjected to numerous interrogations, became a nun, and in 1933 was canonized.

Over the cave where the phenomenon occurred for the first time, in 1886-89 the huge Basilica of Notre Dame de Lourdes was built. It consists of two basilicas located side by side.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

Even if you are not a religious person, the place is just beautiful, it makes sense to take a walk.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

The river Gave de Pau runs through the entire city center.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

From April to October at 16:30 and at 20:00, a procession with candles takes place.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

After the procession, everyone gathers in the huge square in front of the basilica.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

A huge green field is the third Basilica of St. Pius X, which is located underground and designed for 25 thousand people.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

The previous photo shows the castle, founded in 778, another landmark of the city (Château fort de Lourdes). If you park here N 43 06.063 W 0 02.981 and climb the hill, you get a great view of the city, with the Pyrenees in the background. You can also climb there on foot from the center.

The castle itself also has an observation deck overlooking the city.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

Naturally, the city is completely commercialized. This is not a surprise, with such amount of tourists. Souvenirs are all related to religion: statuettes of saints, containers with water, icons, candles.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

We also climbed by the funicular to the nearest mountain, Pic-du-Jer (951 m). There are excellent views from the top and you can continue on foot to the top.

Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak


Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak


Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak


Lourdes
Lourdes Yuriy Buriak

https://en.lourdes-infotourisme.com/web/EN/300-documentation.php - here you can download the map of the city.

Getting there: the railway station is located almost in the very center (https://www.sncf.com/en). The nearest airport Tarbes-Lourdes is located 20 minutes from the city, take a bus number 2 from the airport to the center.
Tags, France: cathedral, church

Tags, all countries: cathedral, church
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