Cultural Sites - Religious and Pilgrimages in France

Paris, Île-de-France

    Cultural Sites - Religious and Pilgrimages in France

    Cultural Sites - religious and pilgrimages in France

    Great religious heritage & pilgrimages of France


    Expiatory Chapel
    Tel. +33 (0) 1 42 65 35 80 
    Tel. +33 (0) 1 43 54 30 09 
    Towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral
    Tel. +33 (0) 1 43 29 50 40

    Ile de France / Paris Area

    Basilique de Saint-Denis
    Tel. +33 (0) 1 48 09 83 54

    Aquitaine - Bordeaux Area, Southwestern France

    Bayonne: Cloister of the cathedral -
    Tel. +33 (0) 5 59 27 42 08

    Auvergne - Center France

    Puy-en-Velay: Cloister and baptistery de la Cathedral.Tel. +33 (0) 4 71 05 45 52
    Burgundy/Bourgogne - Between Paris and Lyon, Eastern France 

    Fontenay Abbey, 21500 Montbard. 
    Tel. +33 (0) 3 80 92 15 00 - Fax +33 (0) 3 80 92 16 88
    Founded in 1119 by Saint Bernard, Fontenay Abbey remains unspoiled. Its modern reputation is in keeping with the spiritual influence it enjoyed in days gone by. This masterpiece of Romanesque art rigorously adheres to the rules of the Cistercian Order. The Abbey of Fontenay has been listed as a "world heritage" site since 1981. 
    Cluny Abbey - Tel. +33 (0) 3 85 59 12 79

    Loire Valley / Western Loire - Southwest of Paris

    Bourges: Crypt and towers of the cathedral - Tel. +33 (0) 2 48 65 49 44 
    Chartres: Towers and tresor of the Cathedral - Tel. +33 (0) 2 37 36 08 80 
    Tours: Towers of the cathedral and cloister of la Psalette
    Tel. +33 (0) 2 47 66 95 16

    Royal Abbey of Fontevraud - Tel. +33 (0) 2 41 51 71 41

    Champagne-Ardenne - East of Paris

    Châlons-sur-Marne: Cloister of Notre-Dame-en-Vaux - Tel. +33 (0) 3 26 64 03 87 
    Reims: Towers of the Cathedral - Tel. +33 (0) 3 26 47 74 39 
    Reims: Palais du Tau - Tel. +33 (0) 3 26 47 81 79

    Franche-Comte - South of Alsace, North of Lyon, by the Swiss Border, Eastern France

    Cathedral Saint-Jean de Besançon - Tel. +33 (0) 3 81 81 12 76

    Languedoc-Roussillon - Straight Southern France, by the Mediterranean Sea

    Villeneuve-lès-Avignon: Chartreuse - Tel. +33 (0) 4 90 15 24 24

    Midi-Pyrenees - Toulouse Area, Extends from Center France to Border of Spain Southwestern France

    Abbey of Beaulieu-en-Rouergue - Tel. +33 (0) 5 63 67 06 84 
    Toulouse: Chapel des Carmélites - Tel. +33 (0) 5 61 21 27 60

    Normandy - North West of Paris

    Abbey of the Mont-Saint-Michel - Tel. +33 (0) 2 33 60 04 52 
    Abbey of Bec-Hellouin - Tel.+33 2 32 44 86 09 
    Abbey of Jumièges - Tel. +33 (0) 5 35 37 24 02

    Picardy - Northern France, by the Border of Belgium

    Amiens: Towers and Tresor of the Cathedral - Tel. +33 (0) 3 22 91 27 31

    Poitou-Charentes - Western France

    Abbey of Charroux - Tel.+33 (0) 5 49 87 62 43

    Provence - Marseilles and Aix-en-Provence Areas, Southeastern France

    Arles: Abbey of Montmajour - Tel. +33 (0) 4 90 54 64 17 
    Fréjus: Cloister of the Cathedral - Tel. +33 (0) 4 94 51 26 30 
    Abbey of Silvacane - Tel. +33 (0) 4 42 50 41 69 
    Abbey of Thoronet - Tel. +33 (0) 4 94 60 43 90

    Rhone-Alps - Lyon and Grenoble Areas, Southeastern France

    Bourg-en-Bresse: Abbey of Brou - Tel. +33 (0) 4 74 22 26 55 
    Lyon: Tresor of the Cathedral Saint-Jean - Tel. +33 (0) 4 78 92 82 29

    Pilgrimage: Saint-Jacques de Compostelle, or Santiago de Compostela

    During the Middle Ages, millions of pilgrims traversed France en route to visit the shrine in northwest Spain known as Saint-Jacques de Compostelle, or Santiago de Compostela in Spanish. Today wayfarers can rekindle the medieval sense of adventure and faith by retracing the route of St-Jacques de Compostelle which links historic pilgrim sights, towns, and churches as it traverses picturesque countryside. The modern traveler of course benefits from newer modes of transportation, cozy hotels, and fine cuisine.

    Regional tourist offices have maps and guidebooks that provide detail on several itineraries that visitors can follow by car or bicycle or, if they choose, even on foot. 

    The 4 Pilgrimage Routes in France

    The first one leaves from Paris and goes through Orléans, Tours, Poitiers, Saint Jean d'Angely (in the Charentes-Maritimes department), Bordeaux and Dax (in the Landes department).

    The second pilgrimage route leaves from Vézelay (in Burgundy) and goes through Nevers, Limoges, Périgueux and Orthez (in the Pyrénées Atlantiques department).

    The third route leaves from Le Puy en Velay (Central France) and goes through Conques (*), Moissac (*), Aire sur l'Adour and Orthez (all located in the southwest Midi-Pyrénées region).

    These first three roads meet at Gibraltar near Saint Palais (in the Pyrénées Mountains) and, there, become one. The pilgrimage route goes then through Ostabat and Saint Jean Pied de Port, the road enters Spain by going over the pass of Roncevaux.

    The fourth pilgrimage route leaves from Arles (in the Provence region) and goes through Saint Guilhem le Désert, Montpellier, Castres, Toulouse, Oloron Sainte Marie (all located in the southwest). The road enters Spain through the pass of Somport. It then continuesthrough Jaca and joins, in Puente la Reina, the road that came from Roncevaux and Pamplona.

    (*) One of the best routes is the Via Podiensis, which connects Conques and Moissac passing through the towns of Cajarc, St-Cirq-Lapopie, Cahors, Montcuq, and Lauzerte. Conques is one of the most famous pilgrim centers in Midi-Pyrénées. Its great Romanesque church houses the relics of Saint Foy, among the most important in Europe, and features a striking tympanum above the west door. In Moissac, St-Pierre Abbey was founded in the 7th century and its church and cloisters were consecrated in the 11th century. The church's south tympanum is a masterpiece of Romanesque sculpture, its statues expressively relating the Book of Revelation.

    Pilgrimage: Lourdes, a World Pilgrimage Center

    A million pilgrims come with diocesan or national pilgrimages and stay for a few days. Usually these are the local Christian communities that come with their bishop and priests : People from all walks of life and strata of society, the young and the sick...They set out together in order to find something new, because one does not go on pilgrimage to simply any place, but to a place where something has already happened and can happen again today to us, if we have the courage to seek the deepest truth in the heart of Lourdes.

    On the 11th February 1858, an event took place which would totally change the course of Lourdes' history. It was on this date that Bernadette Soubirous, the daughter of a poor family with four children and whose father was an impoverished miller, saw her first apparition of the Virgin Mary had indeed appeared to Bernadette Soubirous. Lourdes was now officially recognized as a place of pilgrimage.The Shrine is open all year - the Grotto, the Basilicas, the spring and the fountains. The processions begin and mass is celebrated in six languages from Easter to All Saints.


    You may enter the grotto after the morning masses, about 10.30 am. From midnight to 5 am, the entrance is Porte des Lacets. From Easter to all Saints a number of masses are celebrated at the Grotto in a variety of languages. 


    Situated on the left of the grotto. If you wish to take home some water or give it to friends, do not take an excessive amount.


    Opened from Easter to November 1st. Located at the right of the Grotto. 17 baths built in the rock in 1954. Free admission. Expect a long standing line, specially during pilgrimages. The water is very fresh. There are times when the baths are reserved for the very sick people.


    Everyday from Easter to November 1st. Meeting at 8.45 p.m. near the grotto. - 1 hour procession


    Only in summer, taxis and bus rank at the entrance to St. Joseph gate.


    Town with the second largest number of hotels in France - 275 classified hotels able to accommodate close on 40,000 people.

    5 million pilgrims each day year, from Easter to the feast of the Holy Rosary (early-October)


    -Diocesan From Easter to early-October
    -Order of Malta 3-8 May
    -Armed Forces 7-9 June
    -National 11-16 August
    -Gypsies End of August
    -Gardians de Camargue (Every Two years)


    - 11 February Anniversary of the first apparitions
    - 18 February Saint Bernard
    - 15 August Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady
    - Early October Feast of the Holy Rosary

    Paris-Lourdes 2-day-1-night package

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