Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Situated on the banks of the Gave de Pau river, the sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes welcomes pilgrims and visitors from around the world throughout the year. Come and explore this unique world site and enjoy an unforgettable experience.

A historic site

When the Virgin Mary appeared to the young Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, Lourdes had little more than 4000 inhabitants. Between 11 February 1858 and 16 July of the same year, no less than 18 apparitions were recorded. Soon, pilgrims flocked to Lourdes to see the Grotto of the Apparitions. In order to accommodate them and in line with the Message of Lourdes, several structures were built. The first one being the Crypt which was dedicated in 1866.


Grotto of the Apparitions

Guided tour “In the footsteps of Bernadette”

Every day at 3 p.m., the Sanctuary of our Lady of Lourdes invites you to walk in the footsteps of Bernadette Soubirous by way of a spiritual and historic stroll through Her familiar surrounds within the city.

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In the footsteps of Bernadette - Le Cachot

Exploring the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

To explore the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is to step into a historical site filled with riches:

Visit the Massabielle Grotto, the very site of the Apparitions and at the heart of which is the spring discovered by Bernadette. To the right of the Grotto, you will find the fountains where you will be able to drink Lourdes water. Those who wish to do so can go to the Sanctuary Baths to immerse themselves in the water from the spring.
Opposite the Grotto, on the other bank of the river Gave de Pau, you can light a candle at the Chapel of Light.
From April to October, every evening at 9 p.m., the highlight of the day for pilgrims and visitors to Lourdes is the Marian Torchlight Procession.

Candlelight Procession Rosary Square

Guided tour of the Sanctuary

Every Tuesday and Saturday from April to October, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes organises a visit of the basilicas. Go back in history and discover the ins and outs of the building projects.

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Frequently asked questions

When to visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes?

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is open all year round. A specific programme with the timetable of the various ceremonies according to the time of year can be obtained from the Sanctuary information centre.


The cost of visiting the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Entry to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is free.


Where to park near the Sanctuary

If you are travelling by car, you will find parking bays near the site:

  • Quai Boissarie and Quai St Jean car parks if you enter the Sanctuary through the Porte Saint Michel
  • Merlasse covered and open car parks if you enter the Sanctuary through the Porte Saint Joseph

Other car parks are located throughout the city. You can find them on our page “How to get here”


How to get to the Sanctuary from the railway station

If you come by train, there are several ways to get to the Sanctuary Porte Saint Michel located about 900 metres from the Lourdes railway station. You can find them under the heading “How to get here – By train”


Pets in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes

Pets are not allowed within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.


How to get Lourdes water

Whilst at the Sanctuary, you can draw Lourdes water at no cost. Small containers can be filled from the taps located between the Grotto of the Apparitions and the Baths.  To fill larger containers please use the fountains located near the bridge leading to the Notre Dame reception.


Volunteering at the Sanctuary

Each year, thousands of volunteers and hospitaliers take part in the activities of the Sanctuary. How to volunteer? You will find all the information under the heading “volunteering at the Sanctuary”.

For more information

Sanctuary Our Lady of Lourdes
Tel. 33 (0)5 62 42 78 78
Email: Send an email
Website: Visit website