France Pilgrimage – Top Sites For The Catholic Pilgrimage To France

Practically 50% of French declare to be Catholic. Regardless that the secularization of society is progressing yearly, there are lots of wonderful France pilgrimage websites which were constructed within the earlier centuries.

Pilgrims journey to France to hope within the church buildings, to heal within the miraculous water of Lourdes and to start out the well-known Camino de Santiago route.

One of the vital sacral buildings within the nation, Notre Dame cathedral has been partially destroyed due to the fireplace in April 2019. It’s at present closed for the guests. Hopefully, it will likely be open once more in 2024.

Right here’s a map of France pilgrimage websites that you will discover on this submit:


Let’s begin with probably the most vital websites for Catholics not solely in France however on the earth on the whole.

Within the 19th century, simply four years after the doctrine of immaculate conception was outlined by Pope Pius IX, a peasant woman Bernadette Soubirous noticed Virgin Mary who confirmed she had no authentic sin.

She requested Bernadette to inform folks in regards to the miraculous spring within the Massabielle grotto. Since that point, over 7,000 folks claimed to be healed after washing or ingesting this water.

Chartres Cathedral

Picture + textual content by Marie Eloise Enriquez from France Journey Guides

Positioned 50 miles southwest of Paris, the Chartres Cathedral, often known as Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Chartres/Cathedral of our Woman in Chartres, can be one other pilgrimage web site in France that it is best to go to. It was constructed and impressed by Gothic structure.

Contained in the cathedral, you may see dramatic columns standing tall in the direction of the excessive arches of its ceiling, and medieval stained glass home windows giving it’s inside a splash of shade whereas displaying Christ’s life. The cathedral’s exterior can be as breath-taking as its insides the place you may see statues depicting varied scenes from the Previous Testomony and the North Testomony.

Apart from its construction, another excuse why Chartres Cathedral is without doubt one of the greatest pilgrimage websites in France is due to Sancta Camisa, the sacred tunic, that you will discover right here. The Sancta Camisa or Veil of the Virgin which was a present from Charles the Bald in 876 served because the cathedral’s relic which captured the eye of loads of Marian devotees around the globe.

For the reason that Center Ages, loads of Marian pilgrimage is held in Chartres Cathedral as a result of many believed that the veil was utilized by the Virgin Mary when she gave beginning to Christ in Jerusalem. 

If you wish to go to this cathedral, Chartres is a metropolis in North-Central France which is linked to Paris by the regional line of trains. The approximate journey time from Paris to Chartres is 1 hour and 15 minutes.

When you arrive in Chartres, take the exit to Place Pierre Semard which can lead you to the cathedral. After paying a go to, you too can discover the Loire Valley to discover extra UNESCO World Heritage websites.

St.Jean Pied de Port

Picture + textual content by Campbell & Alya from the Stingy Nomads

St.Jean Pied de Port is a small city within the Pyrenees on the border with Spain. It’s been an vital place of European pilgrimage for a lot of centuries.

Pilgrims coming from France, Germany, the Netherlands, and different European nations stroll via the city on their approach to Santiago. The principle purpose St.Jean Pied de Port turned an vital pilgrimage place is its proximity to the Roncesvalles Go. The cross has been used for hundreds of years to cross the Pyrenees.

For a lot of pilgrims, St.Jean is the start line of the Camino Frances, probably the most widespread pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela. 1000’s of individuals arrive right here yearly to start out a 700km journey throughout Northern Spain to the tomb of Apostle St.James.

All the pieces within the city is in regards to the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage spirit is in all places from the data workplace to eating places and memento outlets. Historically earlier than beginning the lengthy journey to Santiago de Compostela pilgrims attend the Pilgrim’s Mass at a small Gothic church Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont.

The city is situated within the picturesque valley surrounded by the mountains and emerald-green fields. It’s an fascinating place to go to even for individuals who aren’t planning to go on a pilgrimage.

The primary strolling day on the Camino over the Pyrenees from St.Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles is an actual problem. It’s thought of to be the hardest day on the route as a result of very lengthy and steep ascent, 1400m up. Many pilgrims choose to stroll it over two days.

There are two methods of attending to St.James from Barcelona and from Paris. From Barcelona take a bus to Pamplona and from there one other bus to St.Jean. From Paris take a prepare to Bayonne and from there one other prepare to St.Jean Pied de Port.


The second most vital France pilgrimage web site, after Lourdes, Lisieux is the place The Little Flower of Jesus (Thérèse of Lisieux) has been dwelling.

She was well-known for being simple and explaining the sophisticated truths of religion in a quite simple, even infantile manner. Regardless that she died on the age of 24, with little training, she has develop into a physician of the church.

The pilgrims from everywhere in the world journey to Lisieux to hope to The Little Flower’s relics within the Basilica of St. Thérèse in Lisieux.


Picture + textual content by Ann from The Street Is Life


Clinging dramatically to the face of a cliff, 
the small village of Rocamadour will take your breath away at first sight. Regardless of its small dimension, this city welcomes over a million guests per 12 months! Why is it so well-known, you is perhaps questioning? In addition to its apparent magnificence, Rocamadour has been an important pilgrimage vacation spot in France for over 1,000 years as it’s house to the Shrine of Our Woman of Rocamadour.

Over the centuries, pilgrims have been making the lengthy trek to Rocamadour from throughout Europe to expertise the therapeutic powers of the shrine.

As you enter the village you’ll come to a steep staircase known as the Grand Escalier that leads you upward via a sequence of chapels, church buildings and sacred websites. It has been mentioned that pilgrims of the center ages would have climbed all 216 steps on their knees.

The sacred Shrine of Rocamadour finally turned so well-known that even kings would make the pilgrimage in order that they too may reap the advantages of the shrine’s therapeutic powers. All the spiritual buildings together with the well-known shrine are open to guests. Upon getting made it up the steps and handed the sacred websites, you may proceed to the very high of the cliff the place you’ll attain the fortress in addition to an exquisite view of the encompassing valley. 


At this time, Rocamadour stays an vital France pilgrimage web site nevertheless it additionally attracts vacationers from everywhere in the world for its fascinating historical past and spectacular views.


Rocamadour is greatest reached by automotive from Toulouse which takes 2 hours. In any other case, you may drive from Bordeaux which takes just below three hours.

Mont Sainte-Odile

Picture + textual content by Mark Wyld from Wyld Household Journey

Nestled excessive within the hills of the Vosges mountains within the Alsace area of France is Mont Sainte-Odile.

It’s an exquisite however solitary place sounded by tall bushes and darkish forests forest of the area. Set in an awe-inspiring location, perched on a sheer cliff face. Simply the form of place for a saint to be buried. Odile was blind however regained her eyesight after Saint Erhard of Regensburg baptized her, thus bringing her eyesight again.

Her father tried to marry her off and Odile escaped into the mountains being chased by her father. A cliff face opened as much as defend her and her father then agreed to construct her monastery on this place.

The Monastery was initially constructed someday within the early seventh century, however has been destroyed and rebuilt many instances over time. Go to the tomb of St Odile, the Chapel of Tears and the Chapel of Angels. A

stroll alongside the cliff face supplies inspiring views wanting north in the direction of Strasbourg and south in the direction of Colmar. At this time there’s a Church, chapels, lodges, cafe and reward store. Mont Sainte Odile is without doubt one of the most lovely spots in all the Alsace to go to.

Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, Montmartre

Picture + textual content by Kenny from Knycx Journeying

Discuss pilgrimage, there are two locations in Paris that first come to thoughts – Notre-dame (after all), and the opposite one, is the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre.

 “Mont”, in French, means a mountain. The Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur is a white cathedral stand cease of that mountain and its iconic architectural silhouette might be seen from loads of locations within the metropolis from completely different angles.

In contrast with loads of historic heritage websites in Paris, the basilica is definitely very new. It’s a Roman Catholic church that inaugurated as a political and cultural monument of the adoration of the Holy Eucharist. The location was formally accomplished in 1914, 25 years after the completion of the Eiffel Tower.

With solely 130 meters in top, Montmartre is pretty accessible to worldwide vacationers; it’s an amazing place to kick begin your pilgrimage in France.  

Respect the grand inside, pipe organ, bells, and extra; however don’t miss out on taking a brief stroll up the staircase, or using the funicular, to succeed in the open area proper in entrance of the Cathedral.

It’s probably the greatest viewpoints in Paris as a result of route of the place the church is dealing with. You’ll have a panoramic view of the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame and past.

Vèzelay Abbey


Vèzelay Abbey is among the many most important spiritual locations in France. A UNESCO World Heritage Web site, Vèzelay is situated in Burgundy, central France and dates again to the ninth century.


Though Vèzelay has lengthy been a major Benedictine monastery, it’s the historical past right here that you just’ll discover most intriguing. Within the early 11th century, the abbey monks started claiming that relics of Mary Magdalene herself had been found in a close-by church, and pilgrims flocked to Vèzelay of their 1000’s.


It was so vital that Richard the Lionheart spent a number of months there within the 13th century, mustering his forces for the Third Campaign, and it was additionally a key staging submit for pilgrims touring via France to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino de Santiago.


Within the 13th century, a church in Provence staked a a lot stronger declare to holding Mary Magdalene’s relics, and Vèzelay Abbey slowly fell out of favor. Today it stands on a tall hill, surrounded by the small city of Vèzelay.


The structure is improbable, with unbelievable Romanesque facades and an exquisite Gothic extension inside as nicely. There’s additionally a well-known sculpture on the tympanum; Christ spreading the gospel on the Pentecostal Mission, the place the Final Judgement would usually be proven – fairly a political assertion!


Except you’re on a pilgrimage, accessing Vèzelay could be a little difficult. There’s no prepare station on the town, so that you’ll must alight at Sermizelles and catch a connecting bus. Or you might hop off the prepare at Avallon and seize a taxi the remainder of the best way.


Touring by automotive, Vèzelay is simply off the A6 motorway between Paris and Beaune. Vehicles aren’t permitted within the heart of city, so that you’ll must park exterior the partitions and walk-up. Don’t fear about getting misplaced – so long as you’re climbing uphill, you’re heading in the direction of the Abbey!


Textual content by Pauline Vergnet from Beeloved Metropolis

Are you searching for an genuine French village in your approach to Santiago de Compostela? Conques would be the excellent cease!

Positioned on the Camino de Compostela that goes from Le Puy en Velay to Santiago, Conques is without doubt one of the cutest villages you’re going to get to see in France.

This medieval village has hundreds to supply, however probably the most well-known attraction is the Abbey Church of Sainte-Foy. This lovely instance of romanesque structure is especially recognized for being house to the relics of Saint Religion (Sainte Foy). The relics had been dropped at Conques in 883. Since then, it turned one of many foremost stops for pilgrims in France.

Contained in the abbey, you may see the treasures with the statue of Sainte-Foy and lots of medieval goldsmiths.
Exterior, you may admire the tympanum. The doorway-carvings are completely lovely and can blow your thoughts! The Abbey was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Websites in 1998.

Conques is a really cute and genuine place, you’ll love wandering the streets and discovering the native outlets and bakeries. Don’t hesitate to go for a meal in one of many native eating places. You’ll get an opportunity to find the “delicacies du terroir” and typical dishes from southwest France. Duck confit, cassoulet, foie gras… an actual deal with for meals lovers!

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