Construction starts at Lourdes shrine

2011-01-04 21:52

kalahari.com

Paris - Workers dangling from rock-climbing ropes on Tuesday began a monthlong construction effort to prevent stones from falling in the grotto where worshippers pray at the Roman Catholic shrine of Lourdes.

The Lourdes grotto, in the foothills of the Pyrenees in southwest France, is where an illiterate peasant girl, St Bernadette, said she had visions of the Virgin Mary in 1858.

About 6 million people, many of them ill, visit Lourdes every year to pray and drink its spring water, which believers say has healing powers.

The grotto is usually open to worshippers 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But it was closed off for nine hours on Tuesday so workers could begin uprooting shrubs and prepare to hammer heavy-duty pins into the facade and put up nets, said Lourdes spokesperson David Torchala in a phone interview.

Construction work is expected to continue through February 8, with the grotto closed from 06:00 to 15:00 every day.

A study by experts showed that humidity and other natural forces have caused small cracks to form in the rock.

Occasionally small pieces break off and tumble down from above.

"We gathered up a wheelbarrow's worth of little stones in the course of a year," Torchala said. "We're not saying the grotto is crumbling - far from that. But we need to take care of it."

Worshippers can pray just outside the grotto while it is closed off, and Lourdes' internet site also has a webcam fixed permanently on the site.

- AP

Read more on:    france
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Tuesday Mitchells Plain - 19:35 PM
    Road name: M7 Vanguard Drive
    ROADWORKS - traffic restrictions between the R300 and Highlands Drive - expect delays
  • Tuesday Belhar - 17:58 PM
    Road name: Belhar Drive
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Alabama Drive
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Debtors Clerk/Credit Controller

Milnerton
Coastal Engineering Supplies
R10 000 Per Month

Spa Therapist

George - Knysna
Alfa & Omega Networked Business Solutions (PTY)Ltd
R7 000 Per Month

Financial Controller

Western Cape
Datafin Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R4300.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is always easier to look out and see what needs changing. Looking in is a lot harder... Today you may need to look at what...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.