One of the well-visited and revered sites of Baguio city is the Lourdes Grotto. This Catholic shrine is a great place for meditation for the people of Baguio. It is also frequented by tourists of the city that are in need of a place of serenity and tranquility.
Situated on top of the Mirador Hill in the western part of the city, the shrine draws a good number of tourists and pilgrims. Upon arrival at the site, visitors will have to climb a flight of 252 steps to reach the top where the statue of the Lady of Lourdes lies. For those who are not too keen on strenuous stair-climbing, do not fret as there are several stopovers along the way where benches are installed for resting purposes. Rails are also found on the sides and at the center of the steps to make climbing to the shrine easier.
Upon reaching the top, visitors will immediately be greeted by the image of the Lady of Lourdes. Pilgrims regularly climb up the stairs to say a prayer, along with bringing flowers and candles. Plenty of vendors found along the shrine’s premises sell flowers, candles, religious items and relics and even some of the best handicrafts of Baguio for the convenience of its visitors. The site is well-visited by many locals and tourists not only during summer but most especially during the Holy Week as well. Pilgrims make the trek to pay homage and say prayers to the Blessed Mother.
The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes was built to honor the memory and vision of Bernadette Soubirous. This poor peasant girl from Lourdes, France began to receive messages from the Virgin Mary from February 11, 1968 to July 16 of the same year. In 1862, four years later after the occurrences, the Catholic Church declared that the messages and visions delivered to the girl were true. Construction of the statue was then allowed to proceed.
Aside from the image of the Lady of Lourdes, Stations of the Cross marked with various religious symbols can be seen along the road to the grotto. One of the most renowned statues is found at the 12th station and is called the Our Lady of Divine Shepherd.
Getting to the Lourdes Grotto is not difficult as there is a well-kept road that leads directly to the shrine. Asking a cab driver to take you to the shrine would be the best way to get there. Some people trek all the way up not only to visit the shrine but to marvel at the beautiful view at the top as well. From this perspective, visitors will be able to see the whole of Baguio. When visibility is good, visitors will be able to catch glimpses of parts of the La Union and Pangasinan province too.
Visitors of Baguio who would want a second to reflect at a sacred place of prayer should include a trip to the holy shrine at Lourdes Grotto, a venue for peace and tranquility.