Lourdes
Overview
Lourdes is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Hautes-Pyrénées
Hautes-Pyrénées
Hautes-Pyrénées is a department in southwestern France. It is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region.-History:...

 department in the Midi-Pyrénées
Midi-Pyrénées
Midi-Pyrénées is the largest region of metropolitan France by area, larger than the Netherlands or Denmark.Midi-Pyrénées has no historical or geographical unity...

 region in south-western France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Lourdes is a small market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

, famous for the Marian apparitions
Marian apparitions
A Marian apparition is an event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people. They are often given names based on the town in which they were reported, or on the sobriquet which was given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition...

 of Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France...

  occurred in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was a miller's daughter born in Lourdes. From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at that site at Lourdes....

. At that time, the most prominent feature of the town was the fortified castle
Château fort de Lourdes
The château fort de Lourdes is a historic castle located in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées département of France. It is strategically placed at the entrance to the seven valleys of the Lavedan...

 that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its centre.
Following the reports that Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France...

 had appeared to Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was a miller's daughter born in Lourdes. From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at that site at Lourdes....

 on a total of eighteen occasions, Lourdes has developed into a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 and of miraculous healings
Lourdes Medical Bureau
The Lourdes Medical Bureau is a medical organization based in Lourdes, France. It is an official organization within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, but is administered and run only by doctors...

.
Encyclopedia
Lourdes is a commune
Communes of France
The commune is the lowest level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are roughly equivalent to incorporated municipalities or villages in the United States or Gemeinden in Germany...

 in the Hautes-Pyrénées
Hautes-Pyrénées
Hautes-Pyrénées is a department in southwestern France. It is part of the Midi-Pyrénées region.-History:...

 department in the Midi-Pyrénées
Midi-Pyrénées
Midi-Pyrénées is the largest region of metropolitan France by area, larger than the Netherlands or Denmark.Midi-Pyrénées has no historical or geographical unity...

 region in south-western France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

.

Lourdes is a small market town
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 lying in the foothills of the Pyrenees
Pyrenees
The Pyrenees is a range of mountains in southwest Europe that forms a natural border between France and Spain...

, famous for the Marian apparitions
Marian apparitions
A Marian apparition is an event in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed to have supernaturally appeared to one or more people. They are often given names based on the town in which they were reported, or on the sobriquet which was given to Mary on the occasion of the apparition...

 of Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France...

  occurred in 1858 to Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was a miller's daughter born in Lourdes. From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at that site at Lourdes....

. At that time, the most prominent feature of the town was the fortified castle
Château fort de Lourdes
The château fort de Lourdes is a historic castle located in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées département of France. It is strategically placed at the entrance to the seven valleys of the Lavedan...

 that rises up from a rocky escarpment at its centre.

Pilgrimages

Following the reports that Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France...

 had appeared to Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was a miller's daughter born in Lourdes. From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at that site at Lourdes....

 on a total of eighteen occasions, Lourdes has developed into a major place of Roman Catholic pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
A pilgrimage is a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person's beliefs and faith...

 and of miraculous healings
Lourdes Medical Bureau
The Lourdes Medical Bureau is a medical organization based in Lourdes, France. It is an official organization within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, but is administered and run only by doctors...

. The 150th Jubilee of the first apparition took place on 11 February 2008 with an outdoor mass attended by approximately 45,000 pilgrims.

Today Lourdes has a population of around 15,000 but is able to take in some 5,000,000 pilgrims and tourists every season. With about 270 hotels, Lourdes has the second greatest number of hotels per square kilometre in France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 after Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

.

It is the joint seat of the Diocese of Tarbes-et-Lourdes and is the largest pilgrimage site in France, the second site being the Basilica of St. Thérèse (Lisieux)
Basilica of St. Thérèse (Lisieux)
The Basilica of St. Thérèse of Lisieux is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica dedicated to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Located in Lisieux, France, the large basilica can accommodate 4,000 people, and, with more than two million visitors a year, is the second largest pilgrimage site in...

, in Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

.

Geography

Lourdes is located in the area of the prime meridian
Prime Meridian
The Prime Meridian is the meridian at which the longitude is defined to be 0°.The Prime Meridian and its opposite the 180th meridian , which the International Date Line generally follows, form a great circle that divides the Earth into the Eastern and Western Hemispheres.An international...

 in France. It is overlooked from the south by the Pyrenean peaks of Aneto
Aneto
Aneto is the highest mountain in the Pyrenees and in Aragon, and Spain's third highest mountain, reaching a height of . It lies in the Spanish province of Huesca, the northernmost of all three Aragonese provinces. It forms the southernmost part of the Maladeta massif...

, Montaigu
Montaigu
-In France:*Montaigu, in the Aisne département*Montaigu, in the Jura département*Montaigu, in the Vendée département*Montaigu-de-Quercy, in the Tarn-et-Garonne département*Montaigu-la-Brisette, in the Manche département...

, and Vignemale
Vignemale
The Vignemale , at 3298 metres, is the highest of the French Pyrenean summits, in the border with Spain ....

 (3,298 m), while around the town there are three summits reaching up to 1000 m (3,280.84 ft) which are known as the Béout, the Petit Jer (with its three crosses) and the Grand Jer (with its single cross) which overlook the town. The Grand Jer is accessible via the funicular railway of the Pic du Jer
Funiculaire du Pic du Jer
The Funiculaire du Pic du Jer, or Pic du Jer Funicular, is a funicular railway in the French département of Hautes-Pyrénées. It links the pilgrimage town of Lourdes with the summit of the nearby Pic du Jer...

. The Béout was once accessible by cable car, although this has fallen into disrepair. A pavilion is still visible on the summit.

Lourdes lies at an elevation of 420 m (1,378 ft) and in a central position through which runs the fast-flowing river Gave de Pau
Gave de Pau
The Gave de Pau is a river of south-western France and a left tributary of the Adour. It takes its name from the city Pau, through which it flows. The river is in length, and its source is at the Cirque de Gavarnie in the Pyrenees mountains....

 from the south coming from its source at Gavarnie
Gavarnie
Gavarnie is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.-See also:* Cirque de Gavarnie* Gavarnie Falls*Communes of the Hautes-Pyrénées department-References:*...

, into which flow several smaller rivers from Barèges
Barèges
Barèges is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France. It is situated in the valley of the stream Bastan on the former Route nationale 618, the "Route of the Pyrénées."-Economy:...

 and Cauterets
Cauterets
Cauterets is a spa town, a ski resort and a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.-Geography:Cauterets is located southwest of Lourdes in the beautiful valley of the Gave de Cauterets and borders the Pyrenees National Park....

. The Gave then branches off to the west towards the Béarn
Béarn
Béarn is one of the traditional provinces of France, located in the Pyrenees mountains and in the plain at their feet, in southwest France. Along with the three Basque provinces of Soule, Lower Navarre, and Labourd, the principality of Bidache, as well as small parts of Gascony, it forms in the...

, running past the banks of the Grotto and on downstream to Pau and then Biarritz
Biarritz
Biarritz is a city which lies on the Bay of Biscay, on the Atlantic coast, in south-western France. It is a luxurious seaside town and is popular with tourists and surfers....

.

On land bordered by a loop of the Gave de Pau is an outcrop of rock called Massabielle, (from masse vieille: "old mass"). On the northern aspect of this rock, near the riverbank, is a naturally occurring, irregularly shaped shallow cave or grotto, in which the apparitions of 1858 took place.

History

During the 8th century, Lourdes and its fortress became the focus of skirmishes between Mirat, the local leader, and Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

, King of the Franks. Charlemagne had been laying siege to Mirat in the fortress for some time, but the Moor had so far refused to surrender. According to legend, an eagle unexpectedly appeared and dropped an enormous trout at the feet of Mirat. It was seen as such a bad omen that Mirat was persuaded to surrender to the Queen of the sky by the local bishop. He visited the Black Virgin of Puy to offer gifts, so he could make sure this was the best course of action and, astounded by its exceptional beauty, he decided to surrender the fort and converted to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

. On the day of his baptism, Mirat took on the name of Lorus, which was given to the town, now known as Lourdes.

After being the residency of the Bigorre
Bigorre
Bigorre is region in southwest France, historically an independent county and later a French province, located in the upper watershed of the Adour, on the northern slopes of the Pyrenees, part of the larger region known as Gascony...

 counts, Lourdes was given to England by the Brétigny Treaty which bought a temporary peace to France during the course of the Hundred Years War with the result that the French lost the town to the English, from 1360. In 1405, Charles VI
Charles VI of France
Charles VI , called the Beloved and the Mad , was the King of France from 1380 to 1422, as a member of the House of Valois. His bouts with madness, which seem to have begun in 1392, led to quarrels among the French royal family, which were exploited by the neighbouring powers of England and Burgundy...

 laid siege to the castle during the course of the Hundred Years War and eventually captured the town from the English following the 18-month siege. Later, during the late 16th century, France was ravaged with the Wars of Religion
French Wars of Religion
The French Wars of Religion is the name given to a period of civil infighting and military operations, primarily fought between French Catholics and Protestants . The conflict involved the factional disputes between the aristocratic houses of France, such as the House of Bourbon and House of Guise...

 between the Roman Catholics and the Huguenots. In 1569, Count Gabriel de Montgomery attacked the nearby town of Tarbes
Tarbes
Tarbes is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.It is part of the historical region of Gascony. It is the second largest metropolitan area of Midi-Pyrénées, with 110,000 inhabitants....

 when Queen Jeanne d’Albret of Navarre established Protestantism there. The town was overrun, in 1592, by forces of the Catholic League and the Catholic faith was re-established in the area. In 1607, Lourdes finally became part of the Kingdom of France.

The castle became a jail under Louis XV but, in 1789, the General Estates Assembly ordered the liberation of prisoners. Following the rise of Napoleon in 1803, he again made the Castle an Estate jail. Towards the end of the Peninsular War
Peninsular War
The Peninsular War was a war between France and the allied powers of Spain, the United Kingdom, and Portugal for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when French and Spanish armies crossed Spain and invaded Portugal in 1807. Then, in 1808, France turned on its...

 between France, Spain, Portugal, and Britain in 1814, British and Allied forces, under the Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS , was an Irish-born British soldier and statesman, and one of the leading military and political figures of the 19th century...

, entered France and took control of the region and followed Marshall Soult's army, defeating the French near the adjoining town of Tarbes before the final battle took place outside Toulouse
Toulouse
Toulouse is a city in the Haute-Garonne department in southwestern FranceIt lies on the banks of the River Garonne, 590 km away from Paris and half-way between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea...

 on 10 April 1814 which brought the war to an end.

Up until 1858, Lourdes was a quiet, modest, county-town with a population of only some 4,000 inhabitants. The castle was occupied by an infantry garrison. The town was a place people passed through on their way to the waters at Barèges
Barèges
Barèges is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France. It is situated in the valley of the stream Bastan on the former Route nationale 618, the "Route of the Pyrénées."-Economy:...

, Cauterets
Cauterets
Cauterets is a spa town, a ski resort and a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.-Geography:Cauterets is located southwest of Lourdes in the beautiful valley of the Gave de Cauterets and borders the Pyrenees National Park....

, Luz-Saint-Sauveur
Luz-Saint-Sauveur
Luz-Saint-Sauveur is a commune in the Hautes-Pyrénées department in south-western France.-References:*...

 and Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Bagnères-de-Bigorre is a French commune in the south-western Hautes-Pyrénées department, of which it is a sub-prefecture.-Notable people:Bagnères-de-Bigorre was the birthplace of:*Alan Brooke, 1st Viscount Alanbrooke...

, and for the first mountaineers on their way to Gavarnie, when the events which were to change its history took place.

On 11 February 1858, a 14-year-old local girl, Bernadette Soubirous
Bernadette Soubirous
Saint Marie-Bernarde Soubirous was a miller's daughter born in Lourdes. From 11 February to 16 July 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a small young lady" who asked for a chapel to be built at that site at Lourdes....

, claimed a beautiful lady appeared to her in the remote Grotto of Massabielle. The lady later identified herself as "the Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin. It is one of the four dogmata in Roman Catholic Mariology...

" and the faithful believe her to be the Blessed Virgin Mary. The lady appeared 18 times, and by 1859 thousands of pilgrims were visiting Lourdes. A statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was erected at the site in 1864. See Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes is the name used to refer to the Marian apparition said to have appeared before various individuals on separate occasions around Lourdes, France...

 for more details on the apparitions.

Since the apparitions, Lourdes has become one of the world's leading Catholic Marian shrines and the number of visitors grows each year. It has such an important place within the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 church, that Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 visited the shrine twice on 15 August 1983 and 14–15 August 2004. In 2007, Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI is the 265th and current Pope, by virtue of his office of Bishop of Rome, the Sovereign of the Vatican City State and the leader of the Catholic Church as well as the other 22 sui iuris Eastern Catholic Churches in full communion with the Holy See...

 authorized special indulgences to mark the 150th anniversary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

Sanctuary of Lourdes

Yearly from March to October the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is a place of mass pilgrimage from Europe and other parts of the world. The spring water from the grotto
Lourdes water
Lourdes water is water which flows from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by an apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes on 25 February 1858...

 is believed by some to possess healing properties
Lourdes Medical Bureau
The Lourdes Medical Bureau is a medical organization based in Lourdes, France. It is an official organization within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, but is administered and run only by doctors...

.

An estimated 200 million people have visited the shrine since 1860, and the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 has officially recognised 67 healings
Lourdes Medical Bureau
The Lourdes Medical Bureau is a medical organization based in Lourdes, France. It is an official organization within the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, but is administered and run only by doctors...

 considered miraculous.
Cures are examined for authenticity and authentic miracle healing with no physical or psychological basis other than the healing power of the water,

Tours from all over the world are organized to visit the Sanctuary. Connected with this pilgrimage is often the consumption of or bathing in the Lourdes water
Lourdes water
Lourdes water is water which flows from a spring in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes, France. The location of the spring was described to Bernadette Soubirous by an apparition of Our Lady of Lourdes on 25 February 1858...

 which wells out of the Grotto.

At the time of the apparitions the grotto was on common land which was used by the villagers variously for pasturing animals, collecting firewood and as a garbage dump, and it possessed a reputation for being an unpleasant place.

Ukrainian Church

The five-domed St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lourdes was designed by Myroslav Nimciv, while its Byzantine
Byzantine art
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Byzantine Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453....

 interior polychrome
Polychrome
Polychrome is one of the terms used to describe the use of multiple colors in one entity. It has also been defined as "The practice of decorating architectural elements, sculpture, etc., in a variety of colors." Polychromatic light is composed of a number of different wavelengths...

 decorations were executed by artist Jerzy Nowosielski
Jerzy Nowosielski
Jerzy Nowosielski was a Kraków-born Polish painter, graphic artist, scenographer, and illustrator.He was well-known for his religious compositions in the Orthodox Churches in Kraków, Białystok and Jelenia Góra, the Roman Catholic Church of the Holy Cross at Wesoła, the Franciscan Church in the...

. The church is about a 10-minute walk from the basilica and the grotto, on a street named in honour of Ukraine, 8 Rue de l'Ukraine, situated on a narrow piece of property close to the railroad station. Visible from the basilica, the height of the building makes up for its breadth.

Twin towns - brother cities

Lourdes is twinned
Town twinning
Twin towns and sister cities are two of many terms used to describe the cooperative agreements between towns, cities, and even counties in geographically and politically distinct areas to promote cultural and commercial ties.- Terminology :...

 with: Częstochowa
Czestochowa
Częstochowa is a city in south Poland on the Warta River with 240,027 inhabitants . It has been situated in the Silesian Voivodeship since 1999, and was previously the capital of Częstochowa Voivodeship...

 in Poland Fátima
Fátima, Portugal
Fátima is a city in Portugal famous for the Marian apparitions, recognized by the Catholic Church, that took place there in 1917. The town itself has a population of 7,756 and is located in the municipality of Ourém, in the Centro Region and Médio Tejo Subregion...

 in Portugal Loreto
Loreto (AN)
Loreto is a hilltown and comune of the Italian province of Ancona, in the Marche. It is mostly famous as the seat of the Basilica della Santa Casa, a popular Catholic pilgrimage site.-Location:...

 in Italy Altötting
Altötting
Altötting is a town in Bavaria, capital of the district Altötting.This small town is famous for the Gnadenkapelle , one of the most-visited shrines in Germany. This is a tiny octagonal chapel which keeps a venerated statue of the Virgin Mary...

 in Germany Cheyenne
Cheyenne, Wyoming
Cheyenne is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Wyoming and the county seat of Laramie County. It is the principal city of the Cheyenne, Wyoming, Metropolitan Statistical Area which encompasses all of Laramie County. The population is 59,466 at the 2010 census. Cheyenne is the...


Sport

Although the town is most famous for its shrines it is also notable for its Rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

 team, FC Lourdes
FC Lourdes
FC Lourdais is a French rugby union club currently competing in the French league system. Formed in 1911 they have won the French league eight times and the French cup six times. They play in the Stade Antoine-Beguere and traditionally wear blue and red jerseys. Their most notable former player is...

, which during the mid-twentieth century was one of the most successful teams in France, winning the national championship 8 times from 1948 to 1968. Their most famous player is Jean Prat
Jean Prat
Jean Prat was French rugby union footballer. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1959. He played over 50 times for France and is a member of both the International Rugby Hall of Fame and IRB Hall of Fame, being inducted in 2001 and 2011 respectively...

 who represented his country 51 times.

There is also an amateur association football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 team in the town.

In popular culture

  • In Woody Allen
    Woody Allen
    Woody Allen is an American screenwriter, director, actor, comedian, jazz musician, author, and playwright. Allen's films draw heavily on literature, sexuality, philosophy, psychology, Jewish identity, and the history of cinema...

    's film Annie Hall
    Annie Hall
    Annie Hall is a 1977 American romantic comedy directed by Woody Allen from a screenplay co-written with Marshall Brickman and co-starring Diane Keaton. One of Allen's most popular and most honored films, it won four Academy Awards including Best Picture...

    , Allen mentions Lourdes as an alternative to his therapist.
  • The film Song of Bernadette
    The Song of Bernadette (film)
    The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film which tells the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who, from February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported 18 visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was directed by Henry King....

    , based on a novel
    The Song of Bernadette (novel)
    The Song of Bernadette is a 1942 novel that tells the story of Saint Bernadette Soubirous, who, from February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The novel was written by Franz Werfel and was published in 1942...

     by Franz Werfel
    Franz Werfel
    Franz Werfel was an Austrian-Bohemian novelist, playwright, and poet.- Biography :Born in Prague , Werfel was the first of three children of a wealthy manufacturer of gloves and leather goods. His mother, Albine Kussi, was the daughter of a mill owner...

     which tells the occurrences at Lourdes, won 4 Academy Awards
    Academy Awards
    An Academy Award, also known as an Oscar, is an accolade bestowed by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize excellence of professionals in the film industry, including directors, actors, and writers...

     in 1944.
  • The film Behold a Pale Horse
    Behold a Pale Horse (film)
    Behold a Pale Horse is a 1964 film directed by Fred Zinnemann, and starring Gregory Peck, Omar Sharif and Anthony Quinn. The film is based on the novel Killing a Mouse on Sunday by Emeric Pressburger, which loosely details the life of the Spanish anarchist guerrilla, Francisco Sabaté Llopart‎. The...

    (1963), directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and Omar Sharif, includes a scene in Lourdes that is crucial to the plot. The scene was shot on location and includes actual pilgrims visiting the basilica.
  • Émile Zola
    Émile Zola
    Émile François Zola was a French writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism...

     (1840–1902) wrote the novel Lourdes that deals with faith and healing, particularly of Marie de Guersaint. It is a major work of literature dealing with the sickness, despair, faith and hope.

Transport

Lourdes is served by Tarbes-Lourdes-Pyrénées Airport although many visitors also fly to Pau Pyrénées Airport
Pau Pyrénées Airport
-Military usage:Apart from the civilian terminal, there are military installations on the south side of the airfield. These host the 4th Special Forces Helicopter Regiment, the 5th Combat Helicopter Regiment and the French Army's paratrooper's training....

. The town's train station is served by SNCF
SNCF
The SNCF , is France's national state-owned railway company. SNCF operates the country's national rail services, including the TGV, France's high-speed rail network...

 and TGV
TGV
The TGV is France's high-speed rail service, currently operated by SNCF Voyages, the long-distance rail branch of SNCF, the French national rail operator....

 trains, including some that provide overnight 'sleeper' services. The journey from Paris to Lourdes by train lasts five hours by TGV high speed trains. Many pilgrims also arrive via bus service from France and Spain.

Education

Lourdes has two main schools, one public and one private. The private school, the "Lycée Peyramale St Joseph" was founded by two monks just two years before the apparitions; it is named after the priest Dominique Peyramale
Dominique Peyramale
Abbé Dominique Peyramale was a Catholic priest in the town of Lourdes in France during the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes to the peasant girl Bernadette Soubirous in 1858....

, who was present during the apparitions. It celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2007. The public school, the "Lycée de Sarsan", is a newer, less reputed establishment. It is in constant rivalry with the Lycée Peyramale.

See also

  • Château fort de Lourdes
    Château fort de Lourdes
    The château fort de Lourdes is a historic castle located in Lourdes in the Hautes-Pyrénées département of France. It is strategically placed at the entrance to the seven valleys of the Lavedan...

  • Communes of the Hautes-Pyrénées department
  • Lourdes apparitions
    Lourdes apparitions
    The Marian Apparitions at Lourdes were reported in 1858 by Saint Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old miller's daughter from the town of Lourdes in southern France. From February 11 to July 16, 1858, she reported 18 apparitions of "a Lady"...

  • Lourdes effect
    Lourdes effect
    The term Lourdes effect has been coined by the Belgian philosopher and skeptic Etienne Vermeersch to account for the conjecure that some supernatural powers seem to have a sort of resistance to manifesting themselves in a completely unambiguous fashion...

  • Shrines to the Virgin Mary
    Shrines to the Virgin Mary
    In the culture and practice of some Christian Churches - mainly, but not solely, the Roman Catholic Church - a Shrine to the Virgin Mary is a shrine marking an apparition or other miracle ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or a site on which is centered a historically strong Marian devotion...


External links

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