Sanctuaires Notre Dame de Lourdes

Top choice in Lourdes

The spiritual centre of Lourdes is the subterranean grotto where Bernadette Soubirous is believed to have experienced her visions in 1858. From the Porte St-Michel, a broad boulevard sweeps towards the gilded spires of the Basilique du Rosaire and the Basilique Supérieure.

Underneath is the fabled Grotte de Massabielle, where people queue for hours to enter and take a blessed dip in the cave’s icy-cold baths, while other pilgrims content themselves by lighting candles of remembrance outside.

From Palm Sunday to mid-October, nightly torchlight processions start from the Massabielle Grotto at 9pm, while at 5pm there’s the Procession Eucharistique (Blessed Sacrament Procession) along the Esplanade des Processions.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lourdes attractions

1. Porte St-Michel

0.08 MILES

This gate into the sanctuary is the first you'll reach when approaching from across the river (where you'll find the majority of lodging and dining…

2. Porte St-Joseph

0.08 MILES

By evening or early morning (when the Porte St-Michel is closed), this is the most convenient access to the sanctuary.

4. Porte de la Crypte

0.19 MILES

Connects the Basilique Supérieure with the Chemin de Croix (Way of the Cross).

6. Grotte de Massabielle

0.22 MILES

Underneath the soaring spires of the Basilique Supérieure is the fabled Grotte de Massabielle, where people queue for hours to enter and take a blessed…

7. Château Fort

0.25 MILES

Lourdes’ imposing castle stands on a sheer hill just behind the town. There’s been a stronghold here since Roman times, but the present building combines…

8. Moulin de Boly

0.26 MILES

Bernadette was born in this millhouse on 7 January 1844, one year after the marriage of her parents Louise Castérot and François Soubirous. She lived here…