Project of the Grotto, the Heart of Lourdes phase 2: site meeting on 11th January
16-01-2017 / 11:39
All those involved in the implementation of Phase II of the Projet Grotte Coeur de Lourdes meet on a weekly basis, first around a table and then on the site, to review and coordinate the work of the various building professionals.
The rain returns to the Pyrenees. The Grotto and the Sanctuary wake up under a drizzling sky. Our Lady of Lourdes sheds her soft light in the obscurity of the winter. Downstream of the Grotto, in the area leading to the building housing the Baths - and corresponding to the place where pilgrims and visitors used to burn their candles -, both machines and men are busy giving birth to what will tomorrow become the Garden of Fountains: the gesture of drinking and washing is a gesture that the Virgin Mary asked Bernadette Soubirous to perform during the ninth apparition. The Garden of Fountains is the third stage of a new pathway for the pilgrims of Lourdes conceived by the designers of the Project of the Grotto, the Heart of Lourdes. Today the group has focused its attention mainly on the construction of the large sacristy, which will be adjoining the existing building housing the Baths and the future Garden of Fountains. From the roof of the present sacristy of the Grotto, which is to be entirely refurbished, we have a view overlooking the open site and the workers in the process of consolidating the natural slope of the Lacets path. The former burners were moved to the right bank of the Gave, to the area of the Chapel of Light where they will eventually be fixed permanently as the final act of the Project of the Grotto, the Heart of Lourdes. During the work, the access to the Baths remains open daily via the prairie of the Sanctuary. Janine Colonel, Architect of the Bâtiments de France, made a site visit on Wednesday with Thierry Lucereau, Director of operations at the Sanctuary, and Gilles Marty, Architect of the Project. Project of the Grotto, the Heart of Lourdes, phase II : The restoration and embellishment works are financed by donations received following the severe floods of October 2012 and June 2013 which submerged the Sanctuary and many Pyrenean valleys. If everything goes as planned, the new pathway for the pilgrims will be operational at the beginning of the pilgrimage season. A good reason to come or return to Lourdes this year!