- Home ›
- Architectural Lantern Slides›
- Architectural Lantern Slides of France›
- Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bétharram ›
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bétharram: Overall view, the 13th station of the Via Crucis
Betharram is a small village about nine miles (15 km) outside of Lourdes. It was on the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. Hubert Charpentier (1565-1650), a priest architect had the idea to open a hospice for the pilgrims. An extant first chapel dedicated to the Virgin was enlarged in order to build the Sanctuary complex, extended by a monastery belonging to the chaplains of Betharram. Charpentier also had a monumental Way of the Cross (Via Crucis) set up above the Sanctuary on the side of the hill. The Sanctuary was a popular pilgrim stop during the 17th and 18th centuries, but was confiscated during the French Revolution and the Calvary destroyed. Today the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Betharram includes the chapels of Notre Dame and St. Michael (by architect Gabriel Andrade), the Calvary (rebuilt), and a museum. The chapel of Notre Dame has three naves; the facade has a central bay in gray marble of Neoclassic style, with five statues; the Virgin and the four Evangelists. Inside the retable (altarpiece) has a statue of the Virgin by Alexandre Renoir (1845).