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Tourist Sites in and around Lourdes

Tourist sites and attractions within a radius of km* from the city center

* The distances are point to point and not driving distances!

Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrénées At around: 0.68 km

Lourdes Sanctuary The Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes was built around the Grotto, on the banks of the Pau River, where Virgin Mary appeared 18 times to the young girl Bernadette Soubirous between February 11th and June 16th 1858.
The shrine covers 50ha and is one of the biggest of the world. It consists of many sites including the actual Grotto were the apparitions took place, the Rosary Basilica, the Crypt, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the Massabielle Spring holy water taps and baths and the Way of the Cross.
The Crypt was the first to be built; dug inside the rock above the Grotto and inaugurated in 1866 in the presence of Bernadette. The Crypt houses a reliquary...

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At around: 0.88 km

Pic du Jer Pic du Jer is a 948 meter high hill overlooking the town of Lourdes and the Bigorre plains. It is accessible via a funicular railway* built in the last years of the 19th century.
The funicular trip lasts between 6-10 minutes, it moving at a maximum speed of 11km/hour.
From the top of Pic du Jer the visitor can admire also view the of the central Pyrenees Mountains range, the Pic du Midi, the Vignemale etc.
At the end of the Ice Age some 15,000 years ago the melting ice formed a grotto on the top of the Pic du Jer that was inhabited by the prehistoric man. The grotto was opened to the public in 1958 and is entrance...

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At around: 16.09 km

The Town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre Bagnères-de-Bigorre is a town of just over 8,000 inhabitants – called “Bagnérais” - situated in Hautes-Pyrénées department of south west of France.
As its name says (baignade means bathing) it is a spa town that was founded around the hot springs by Roman occupants in the first years of Christian era.
Throughout the centuries the town follows its region history: is handed over temporarily to the English during the Hundred Year War, and as a part of Navarre Kingdom becomes temporarily protestant when its Queen Jeanne d’Albret – the mother of King Henri IV – converts to Protestantism in 1560.
On June 21, 1660, Bagnères-de-Bigorre was shuck by a strong earthquake whose replicas lasted 3 weeks.
The earthquake that is...

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Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrénées At around: 22.93 km

Pic du Midi de Bigorre Pic du Midi de Bigorre (called usually just Pic du Midi – making its name quite confusing since there are other Pic du Midi peaks) is a mountain in the Pyrenees renowned for the astronomical observatory built on its top at 2877meters altitude (9439 feet).
The peak is also famous for the outstanding view it offers of the Pyrenean range from the observatory platform.
It is visited yearly by more than 100,000 tourists and is an important tourist attraction in the south west of France – it bears the label: “Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrénées” (“Great Tourist Site of the Midi-Pyrenees region).
It is said that from the Pic du Midi de Bigorre top on a clear day one can see...

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Grands Sites de Midi-Pyrénées At around: 23.18 km

Pont d'Espagne The site called "Pont d'Espagne" in the French Pyrenees takes its name from the stone bridge built here in 1886 to ease the passage of travelers from France to Spain.
The site is also the entrance in the National Parc of the Pyrenees, the oldest French national park that spreads on 100km from east to west. The bridge called "Pont d'Espagne" is situated at 1,496 meters altitude at the confluence of the torrents of Marcadau and Gaube.
The site was a popular destination of the French society even before the modern tourism. The most famous visitor was probably Queen Hortense of Holland (step-daughter and sister-in-law of Napoleon) who came here in 1807. ...

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At around: 24.66 km

Escaladieu Abbey Escaladieu Abbey is a Cistercian abbey founded between 1135 and 1142. It has the austere yet elegant architectural style characteristic of all Cistercian abbeys conforming as they were to sober and utilitarian guidelines.
Escaladieu name comes from the Latin Scala Dei which means "stairways to God".
During 14th, 15th and 16th centuries the abbey went through a turbulent period due to Hundred Years Wars and the Wars of Religions. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries it started to lose its importance due to the relative decline of the Cistercian monastic order.
At French Revolution in 1793 the abbey was sold as "national property" and became a hunting lodge.
Nowadays the abbey, declared a National Historic Monument in 1938, is the...

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At around: 25.61 km

Grand Tourmalet Grand Tourmalet is the central region of Hautes-Pyrenees department of the south west of France.
It is dominated by the mountain peak of Pic du Midi de Bigorre (2 872 m - 9422 feet tall) and includes the highest road pass - "Col du Tourmalet" - in the Pyrenees located entirely in France at 2114 m (6935 feet) altitude. The Grand Tourmalet is also the largest ski domain in the French Pyrenees.
The "Col du Tourmalet" is famous in the cycling world as one of the most climbed mountain passes in the Tour de France (in 100 editions of the Tour de France it was included 80 times!). The "Col" is popular with trained cyclists that start their ride in the eastern...

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At around: 26.33 km

Mauvezin Castle Overlooking the Gascony region of Bigorre in the foothills of the Pyrenean Mountains, Mauvezin fortress owes its size and shape to its 14th century lord the famous Gaston III de Foix-Béarn known as Gaston Fébus (believed to have been a very handsome prince, with a mane of blond hair, deserving of the surname Fébus, the Latin Apollo, which he spelled with "F" not "Ph"!).
The castle was built on the site of an older, 11th century, fortification, first mentioned in 1083 in a peace treaty between the Viscounts of Aure and Labarthe and the Countess Béatrice I de Bigorre. The keep of this first fortification that was used during the 16th century Wars of Religion as a...

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At around: 34.98 km

Bernadotte Museum It is in Pau that Jean Baptiste Bernadotte was born on the 26 January 1763.
This Marshal of the French Army under Napoleon I was elected in 1810 to succeed King Charles XIII of Sweden who had no heirs. The Bernadotte dynasty that he founded is still on the throne of Sweden.
The house where Jean Baptiste was born, called "Balagué" houses now the Bernadotte Museum. With its collection of furniture, documents and portraits it evokes the incredible destiny of this son of Bearn....

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At around: 35.14 km

Pau Castle Pau Castle is the birth place of King Henri IV of France. At that moment the castle was the property of Henri' sgrandfather Henri II d'Albret King of Navarre. The legend says that when baby Henri was born his grandfather rubbed a clove of garlic and a drop of Jurançon wine on his lips in order to protect him from diseases (Jurançon is to this day the most famous wine of the region). The baby was placed then in a cradle made from a turtle shell - believed at that time to bring long life to bodies placed inside! This famous shell was placed by King Louis XVIII - Henri's direct descendent - during restoration period on a majestic pedestal...
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At around: 40.02 km

Pyrénées National Park Distinguished at the World Congress of Parks - Sydney 2014 - as one of the world's best managed national parks, the Pyrénées National Park covers 45,707 hectares on heart of the Pyrenean mountains, a landscape that never descends below 1000 meters and culmintes at 3298 meters altitude at the top of Vignemale.
The Pyrenees National Park stretches over 100 kilometers on 2 departments (Pyrénées-Atlantiques and Hautes-Pyrénées) and two regions (Aquitaine and Midi-Pyrénées) from the Gave d'Aspe to the Neste d'Aure, along the Franco-Spanish border.
The park includes 6 valleys each with its own distinctive scenery:
  • The Aspe valley with its vast forests, the last bastion of the bear
  • Valley of Ossau , high place of pastoralism
  • Val d'Azun or Arrens valley...
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UNESCO World Heritage At around: 40.06 km

Cirque de Gavarnie The little village of Gavarnie in the Hautes-Pyrénées department of south west France – situated at 1365 meters altitude, the highest village in the Pyrenees - is the place of not one but two UNESCO World Heritage listed monuments.
The first one is a natural monument and more known: it is the Cirque de Gavarnie.
The Cirque of Gavarnie is one of the most beautiful sites of the Pyrenees. It is a 6km in diameter and up to 1500 meters high natural amphitheater produced by a glacier.
The territory of Gavarnie is part of the Franco-Spanish UNESCO recognized site of "Gavarnie-Mont Perdu " that with a total area of 30,639 ha, includes two of Europe's largest and deepest canyons on the...

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At around: 41.34 km

Lescar Cathedral  - The necropolis of the kings of Navarre The Notre-Dame cathedral of Lescar was built initially built in the first part of the 12th century. It is a remarkable roman art masterpiece.
The cathedral is the resting place of the Kings of Navarre. Among them Francois Phoebus dead in 1483 - the first Navarre King to rule over united territories of French Navarre, Spanish Navarre, Bearn and the County of Foix -, Marguerite d'Angouleme the famous writer, sister of King Francois I and grand-mother of King Henri IV, dead in 1549 and Henri II d'Albret her husband King of Navarre dead in 1555.
The Cathedral features also a very interesting mosaic dating from the 12th century and representing a Moor warrior with a wooden leg.
The legend says that the builders...

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UNESCO Heritage List At around: 47.48 km

Sainte Marie Cathedral, Oloron-Sainte-Marie Sainte Marie Cathedral of Oloron-Sainte-Marie is listed since 1999 in the UNESCO’s World Heritage along with all the religious monuments on the route to Santiago de Compostella.
It is a monument that combines Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles.
The cathedral was built starting from the beginning of the 12th century on the order of Gascon IV, Viscount of Bearn on his return from the Holy Land Crusade.
The building was partially destroyed and rebuilt in the 13th and 14th century and was considerably enlarged in the 18th century.
In the 14th century the cathedral was added the chevet (part behind the altar) composed of the ambulatory and 5 radiating chapels. In the 18th century one of these chapels - the Saint Grat - was...

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