Welcome to the Sanctuaire of Lourdes

Marcher sur les pas de Bernadette

Come to Lourdes and walk in Bernadette’s footsteps

One of the best ways to immerse yourself in the history of Lourdes is to walk in Bernadette‘s footsteps, following a route that takes in the key places where she lived, from her birth in 1844 to her departure for Nevers in 1866, which were the setting for the apparitions of 1858.

Following in Bernadette’s footsteps in Lourdes means discovering the places that were familiar to her: her birthplace, the Boly Mill, the Cachot where she lived with her family at the time of the apparitions in 1858, the Hospice where she went to school with the Sisters of Nevers and where she received her First Holy Communion. There is also the parish church, where the font used for her baptism still stands, and the former presbytery where Bernadette delivered the messages that changed the destiny of Lourdes.

maquette du musée


Located just a few metres from the Sanctuary, the Bernadette Museum retraces the life of Saint Bernadette, the history of Lourdes and the construction of the Sanctuary through, in particular, a wealth of iconography and objects that belonged to the saint from Bigorre.
In the entrance hall, there is a scale model showing Lourdes at the time of the apparitions
the path that led from the Cachot to the Grotto of Massabielle.


This was Bernadette’s birthplace. She was born here on 7th January 1844. Her parents, Louise and
François, were tenants of this mill and Bernadette lived here with her parents for 10 years. She called it “the mill of happiness”.
Inside, you’ll discover the room where Bernadette was born, the kitchen, and the old mill and its millstones.
The first room, which is not part of the original Boly Mill, contains a number of information panels and photographs. This room gives you a better idea of the people with whom Bernadette came into contact.


As a result of a series of accidents, the Soubirous family fell into poverty. During the winter of 1857, François was faced with unemployment. The family was forced to move into the Cachot (a former prison until 1824), a single, dark, cold room measuring 16m², where the whole family had to live until autumn 1858.
It was from here that, on 11th February 1858, Bernadette set off for the Grotto of Massabielle to collect bones and dead wood and where she would experience a unique adventure: she met the Virgin Mary 18 times.


The present-day parish church was built between 1875 and 1903 to replace the church of Saint Peter, which Bernadette Soubirous attended, and which was destroyed by fire in 1904.
It contains the baptismal font in which she was baptised on 9th January 1844 and the tomb of Mgr. Peyramale, parish priest of Lourdes at the time of the Apparitions.


The former presbytery in Lourdes was the setting for important meetings between Bernadette and Father Dominique Peyramale. Bernadette first went to see the parish priest on Tuesday 2nd March 1858. She went because she had a message for the priests: “Go and tell the priests that people should came here in procession and to have a chapel built.”
On 25th March, the feast of the Annunciation (16th apparition), Bernadette returned to the presbytery, bearing the long-awaited response. The apparition had finally revealed her name: “Que soy era Immaculada Concepciou” (I am the Immaculate Conception).


It was at the Hospice that, from 17th January 1858, Bernadette went to school and where, on 3rd June, she made her First Holy Communion in the Hospice’s tiny chapel, now known as the oratory.
This is also where she lived from Sunday 15th July 1860 until her departure from Lourdes on Wednesday 4th July 1866.

* Official film of the Sanctuary at the Information Centre
* Visit to the Sanctuary, on your own or with a guide at 9.30am.
* Mass (see timetable at the Information Centre)

2.00 pm: Bernadette’s footsteps
3.00pm: Rosary at the Grotto
5.00pm: Eucharistic procession and blessing of the sick.
9.00pm: Marian Torchlight procession

The Lourdes Tourist Office also offers the Bernadette trail, following the road studs bearing the image of Bernadette.

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