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Lourdes’s is a legendary French city renowned for its healing energy and sacred status. Home to the most visited shrine in the entire Christian religion, Lourdes emits an irresistible and imitable energy that promises to relax and restore; wide, tree lined boulevards reveal the stunning spires of elegant ecclesiastical buildings that welcome worshippers with dizzying entrance portals. Shrouded in local legend, the small natural spring that allures millions of visitors each year is reputed to have been dug by a young girl upon the instruction of the Virgin Mary.
At the height of any Lourdes itinerary is the Lourdes Grotto, a mystical and magic place which attracts more visitors than any other Christian shrine. Amidst the rocky crevices and glistening water, a sanctimonious statue of the Virgin Mary resides. This statue symbolises the great significance of the religious figure to Lourdes’ and alludes to the area’s intriguing history; according to 19th century legend, an apparition of the Virgin Mary has ben glimpsed in this sacred space 18 times.
Reminiscent of a mythical palace, the beautiful Sanctuary of Our Lady Basilica stirs the imagination with its fairy tale façade and magical splendour. Backed by dramatic mountains and surrounded by manicured gardens and sacred sculptures, its impossible to overemphasise the arresting quality of this legendary landmark. The Basillica comprises of numerous churches, one of which is located underground, and a subterranean crypt that begs to be discovered.
Dispel ascetic expectations and indulge in the delicious decadence of La Cabanon’s fabulous food. Housed in an elegant eatery at the top of one of Lourdes’s small hills, the restaurant specialises in indulgent French fare designed to pleasure the palate. Feast upon foie gras, roasted camembert, tender lamb and asparagus with crisp bacon and fried egg for a blissful banquet. (37 Rue Grotto, 65100 Lourdes, France)