Panorama of lourdes

Lourdes: A Taste of Heaven

A short guide to the shrine, compiled by Richard France.

Welcome to this tour of Lourdes. Some of you using this guide may be actually visiting the shrine, others may be at home reading about it, or simply touring. So some of the information – directions to places, for example - will only be of interest to some of you, but the history, the stories and the photographs should be of interest to you all.

Lourdes is, today, an internationally famous shrine and thousands of pilgrims come, every year, to this small French town nestling in the foothills of the Pyrenees, on the border between France and Spain. Many of those pilgrims travel here hoping for a cure for the illness they suffer from, whether it is physical or mental, or another disabling sickness. They are collectively known as 'The Sick', and as the most important people in Lourdes.  And then there are those who come for a private reason of their own. As well as these there are others, such as the doctors and nurses who come here to work in the hospital, and those who give up their time to look after the sick pilgrims, both adults and children, staying in the hotels. There are many hotels in Lourdes, but these fill up quickly, so it is always best to book up really early! In additon to the hotels there is also Hosanna House, which is run by the charitable organisation HCPT.

But how many years have they been coming here, seeking a cure? Why does Lourdes attract so many people? How did it all begin? When did the original village of Lourdes become a shrine? These are just some of the questions people are likely to have, and during this tour the answers to them will, hopefully, become clear. Enjoy the tour!

1, Avenue Monseigneur Theas, Lourdes 65108, Hautes-Pyrenees, France
Lourdes: A Taste of Heaven
  1. The Cachot
  2. 1st Apparition - Bernadette and 'The little lady'
  3. 2nd Apparition - Holy water
  4. 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Apparitions - The promise
  5. 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th Apparitions - The spring of water
  6. 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Apparitions - The first healing
  7. 16th Apparition - The name
  8. 17th Apparition - Gathering evidence
  9. 18th and Final Apparition - The Declaration
  10. The Stations of the Cross on the hill, and those alongside the river.
  11. The Crypt of the Basilica
  12. The Lower Basilica (often called The Rosary Basilica)
  13. The Upper Basilica, also called The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
  14. The Torchlight Procession
  15. The Underground Basilica
  16. The Crowned Statue