Lourdes Grotto in Baguio City - Philippines
One of the most frequently visited and revered sites in Baguio is the Lourdes Grotto. Situated atop Mirador Hill in the western part of the city, it draws an equal number of pilgrims and tourists.
Getting to the Lourdes Grotto is not difficult, as there is a well kept road that will take you directly to the grotto. Alternatively you use the cab and inform the driver that you want to go to the shrine.
As you reach the site, you will have to climb the 252 steps to reach the top and see the statue of the Lady of Lourdes. Even though it is a long way up, it is not a problem as there are stopovers along the way, and there are also benches installed there. There is also a rail on the sides and center of the steps.
Once you make the top of the Lourdes Grotto, you will come upon the image of the Lady of Lourdes. There you can say a prayer. Most bring flowers and candles, but if you don’t have any, there are plenty of vendors who will be willing to sell some to you. Not surprisingly, the site is very active not just during the summer but even during Holy Week, as pilgrims make the trek to pay homage and say prayers to the Blessed Mother.
From this perspective you can see practically the whole of Baguio. If you visit the area in the morning and the visibility is good, you will even glimpse parts of La Union and Pangasinan.
The statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, indeed the whole Lourdes Grotto, was built to honor the memory and visions of Bernadette Soubirous, a poor peasant girl in Lourdes, France who, from February 11 to July 16 1858, began to receive messages from the Virgin Mary. Four years later in 1862, the Catholic Church declared that the messages and visions of the 14 year old girl were genuine, and the construction of the statue were allowed to proceed.
The Lourdes Grotto is not just the only attraction in the area; as you traverse the road to the grotto you will see Stations of the Cross, marked with various religious symbols. One of the most renowned is the statue in the 12th station, called the Our Lady of Divine Shepherd.
After you make the visit to the Lourdes Grotto, you can drop by the stalls located in the area. Here you can buy all kinds of religious items and relics, and some of the finest handicraft from Baguio.