So many museums to visit at Lourdes!
As soon as you pronounce the name of the Pyrenees town, Lourdes, to the minds of many pilgrims springs a major religious pilgrimage site and the story of the Virgin Mary appearing to Bernadette Soubirous in February 1858.
In fact, every year millions of people travel to the French town in search of a miraculous cure or simply as tourists, visiting the buildings that witnessed the life of the girl who was beatified in 1925: today many of these buildings are museums you can visit when staying in the French town.
Indeed, as we say at Albastar, even if a pilgrimage is an important reason to go to Lourdes, it is not the one.
But let us proceed in order. Bernadette’s father was a miller, as a matter of fact the young woman was born in the Moulin De Boly Maison Natale de Bernadette on 7 January 1844. A tour of museums, in addition to religious sites, can start right here: you will discover how the peasant families lived in the nineteenth century and learn the life history of the Saint.
She lived there for about ten years, but then France was hit by an economic crisis, which also affected her family. They moved to Le Cachot and lived in a single and cold room of less than twenty square meters. Bernadette stayed here until the autumn of 1858.
After the first appearance of the Virgin Mary at the Grotta Massabielle another seventeen followed, resulting in the girl’s life taking a new direction. Indeed, the parish priest Don Peyramale offered to the family the Moulin Lacade or Maison Paternelle de Sainte Bernadette. This building has also become a museum where furniture, objects and photos of the Soubirous family are displayed.
Later, the young woman was welcomed at the Hospice Sainte Bernadette of the sisters of Charity of Nevers, where she attended school to learn to read and write together with other humble girls like her. In 1858, she received her first communion in the tiny chapel of the hospice.
Do you want to continue the tour of the buildings and museums to visit in Lourdes?
The next stop is the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes followed by the 22 places of worship located in an area of more than 50 hectares.
There are some unmissable stops: on top of the cave, where the worshippers believe that the Virgin Mary miraculously made the water flow, the magnificent neo-Gothic Basilica of the Immaculate Conception stands. Through a system of loggias, it is joined to another sacred building, namely the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, so-called because of the fifteen chapels within it depicting the mysteries of the Rosary.
These two buildings are not the only ones that can be visited: the characteristic oval-shaped Basilica of Saint Pius X built almost entirely underground is one of the largest churches in the world and is part of the wider Sanctuary of Notre Dame de Lourdes.
If you are planning a trip to Lourdes, we would like to remind you that Albastar is the best airline for this destination.
You can purchase your tickets on our website, through our Call Center or from authorised travel agencies.
And if you need special assistance, we kindly ask you to read the specific section containing all the information you need to ensure your flight is the flight you have always dreamed of.
But let’s go back to the French town in the Hautes-Pyrénées: here you can discover other museums to get to the heart of the town’s history, traditions and crafts.
Do you want to get on the train or do you prefer to walk? No problem: from Notre Dame the next stop is the Musée Sainte-Bernadette dedicated to the young woman and the history of the sanctuary. Entrance to this museum is free and it is full of important relics.
Lourdes also has its own wax museum, the Musée de Cire de Lourdes, which is one of the most visited museums: its 18 scenes and more than 100 life-size sculptures portray the story of Christ and Bernadette’s life.
While, if you are interested in the history of Lourdes, we at Albastar recommend the Musée Du Petit Lourdes, a miniature reproduction of what the village was like at its inception. Walking through a beautiful garden, you will take a journey back in time, discovering old houses, old mills and the cave of the apparitions.
However, not all museums in Lourdes are linked to the story of Bernadette Soubirous, for example the Musée Christi holds a rich collection of popular images and writing tools. In short, Lourdes is full of surprises for all tourists.
Do you want to see a view from the top of the town of Lourdes?
Up at Chateau Fort, an extremely well preserved military fortress, you will feel as if you can touch the sky with your hands: the Pyrenean Museum, holding important pieces of local arts and popular traditions between 1800 and 1900, is located inside.
After this long “dip in culture”, you deserve to relax in the thermal waters of Bagnères de Bigorrefort de Lourdes: ready to daydream?
Its waters originate from Monte Olivet and were discovered by the Romans when Augustus was emperor.
Are you looking for a 5-star evening? Why settle for five stars?: here you can have a whole constellation!
Albastar is not the only one able to take you to the top: experience the magic of climbing up to 2877 meters on the balcony of the Pyrenees. You can travel up both in the summer and the winter in a cable car from the ski resort of La Mongie. If a 1,000 metre ascent in 15 minutes does not make your heart beat, a visit to the Espace Experiences Du Pic Du Midi De Bigorre will leave you with beautiful memories to keep.
Why? Because it is the oldest astronomical observatory in Europe and is also the only reserve of the starry sky in France!
A different show, but one that will surely arouse a sense of wonder, especially if you are spending a few days away with your children, is La Féerie Des Eaux, a site near Lourdes staging a unique water show with sound and light.
Do you want to continue exploring the Hautes-Pyrénées region? Check out Tarbes: here’s what there is to see!
From Place Verdun you can stroll through its narrow streets to the Massey gardens: a park that we highly recommend. Perfectly maintained, it is dotted with flower beds and ponds, where ducks and geese splash around and elegant peacocks walk – guaranteed amusement entertain young visitors.
Inside you can also visit Le Musée Massey – Musée International Des Hussards, which, in addition to two permanent collections, also houses interesting temporary exhibitions.
The town is also famous for the beautiful horse-riding centre called Le Haras national de Tarbes in French, a national stable and French Anglo-Arab breeding farm, a sports horse used for show jumping.
So, in addition to an intense spiritual experience, there are many museums to visit in Lourdes, either alone, with friends or with family.
Whatever reason for planning a trip to the French town in the Hautes-Pyrénées, we at Albastar will take you on direct flights from Rome Fiumicino and Milan-Bergamo.
Call or write immediately to our CALL CENTER and ask for information on the next flight, and if you have special requests or need special assistance, we please let our dedicated team know.