The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is a group of churches, religious buildings, and places of worship on the site where the Lourdes apparitions occurred in 1858, in the town of Lourdes, in France. The area is owned and administered by the Roman Catholic Church and is a destination for millions of pilgrims coming to venerate Our Lady of Lourdes. The sanctuary holds devotional activities, and offices, and ensures accommodation for sick pilgrims and their helpers. The 52 hectares area of the sanctuary includes the grotto of Massabielle where Bernadette Soubirous is said to have seen the Virgin Mary and three basilicas, known as the Upper Basilica, the Lower Basilica, and the Underground Basilica. It also includes a church, several chapels, a calvary on a hill, an area of ground for gatherings, a square and alleys for processions, fountains providing Lourdes water to pilgrims, baths for immersion in Lourdes water, residences for sick and disabled pilgrims, and the offices of the Lourdes Medical Bureau. The sanctuary is visited by millions each year, and Lourdes has become one of the prominent pilgrimage sites of the world. Large numbers of sick pilgrims travel to Lourdes each year in the hope of physical healing or spiritual renewal.
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