Following the claims that there were apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, Lourdes has developed into a major place of Christian pilgrimage. Situated on top of the rock above the Grotto of Massabielle, the place of apparitions and healing water, and behind the Basilica of the Rosary, the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Lourdes was constructed between 1866 and 1872 in neo-gothic style. The gilded crown and cross belongs to the Basilica of the Rosary, designed in a Byzantine-influenced Romanesque style, and built between 1883 and 1889 to replace the original chapel on the site of the apparitions of the Virgin Mary.

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