Sacredness



Caves


Stones


Mountains


Trees


Water


BIBLIOGRAPHY


© 1998 (text only) Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe

An exploration of how and why places become invested with SACREDNESS and how the SACRED is embodied or made manifest through ART and ARCHITECTURE


LOURDES, FRANCE

In 1858, a fourteen-year-old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous had a series of eighteen visions of the Virgin Mary who appeared in a niche in the grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes, a village on the Gave de Pau river in the foothills of the Pyrenees in southern France. The first apparition occurred on 11 February 1858.

During her ninth apparition, on 25 February, Bernadette claimed to have been directed to a spring that had hitherto not existed in the grotto. Its discovery by Bernadette, witnessed by hundreds of onlookers, was eventually declared miraculous. Later studies have shown that the water is pure and contains chlorides of soda, lime and magnesia, bicarbonates of lime and magnesia, silicates of lime and aluminium, oxide of iron, sulphate of soda, phosphate, and organic matter. Otherwise, it is believed to contain no therapeutic ingredients.


The Miraculous Spring in the Grotto at Lourdes

Subsequently, however, the water was claimed to be capable of healing the sick and lame. Of the many thousands of pilgrims who visit Lourdes every year, some claim to be have been miraculously healed. It is estimated that the spring has produced 27,000 gallons of water each week since it first emerged during Bernadette's visions.

Bibliography:

  • Ruth Harris, Lourdes, Viking, New York, 1999


SACRED PLACES is written and produced by Christopher L. C. E. Witcombe, Professor, Department of Art History, Sweet Briar College, Virginia, 24595 USA

Lascaux
France

Giza Plateau
Egypt

Stonehenge
England

Newgrange
Ireland

Abu Simbel
Egypt

Delphi
Greece

Athenian Acropolis
Greece

Holy Sepulchre
Israel

Dome of the Rock
Israel

Chartres
France

Lourdes, France

Shrine at Ise
Japan

Bodh Gaya
India

Teotihuacán
Mexico

St. Peter's Basilica
Italy

Mecca
Saudi Arabia

Mosque of Córdoba
Spain

Kata Tjuta
Australia