On the Net: Things to Do in Lourdes, France | USA Today

One more day and I’m off to Barcelona and Lourdes for a trip with the hubby and in-laws. I’m so excited! There have been a few people I know who had asked me what is in Lourdes to see. I found a brief article which I found helpful as a first step in learning about Lourdes and its neighboring area. I’m sharing it for anyone who is interested. ~Dee 💕

By Karen Sweeny-Justice, Demand Media
Known internationally for its sacred Catholic sites, Lourdes has tourist attractions for secular travelers, too. Located in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France about 500 miles south of Paris, some remnants remain of the small village Lourdes once was. Accommodations range from contemporary American-style to historic boutique hotels. Tourism is heaviest from April to October and peaks on August 15th, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.

Sacred Sites

Milorad Pavelek, CC BY-SA 3.0

From February to July 1858, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in a cave near Lourdes. Six years later, 30,000 pilgrims were arriving annually. After miraculous healings were reported in 1873, the village’s popularity grew. Known collectively as the Domain, sites include the Basilica of Saint Pius X, the largest church in town accommodating 25,000 worshippers at a time; the Grotto of Apparitions or the Grotto of Massabielle, known for its healing waters; and the Rosary Basilica, a designated Historic Monument, with three Roman-Byzantine arches built in the style of a Greek cross. Mass is celebrated daily in multiple languages.
Visit the Pyrenees

Myrabella, CC BY-SA 3.0

Just 30 minutes south of Lourdes, the town of Argeles-Gazost serves as an entrance to Pyrenees National Park (parc-pyrenees.com), the most visited of France’s nine parks. Influenced by the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates, species as diverse as vultures, fox, bears, eagles and marmots live here. Exhibits in the visitor center explore the area’s past and present; sheep graze the park’s pastures. The park is divided into six districts with 86 villages within its boundaries. Fir and yew forests stretch to almost 6,000 feet above sea level with mugho pines on the higher elevations. Bare snow-capped peaks are visible at the top.

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Source: Things to Do in Lourdes, France | USA Today


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