Basilica of St. Pius X. - Lourdes.
Basilique Saint-Pie X. - Lourdes
The Basilica of Saint Pius of Lourdes, with its controversial architecture, was completed in 1957 and made sacred one year later by a Roman cardinal. The city of Lourdes is one of the most visited Catholic places of pilgrimage in the world, as it was here that the Virgin Mary appeared to a local peasant woman, who would later attain holiness. The amazingly large underground church was later built to accommodate the huge crowds that flooded the town on the dates of important Catholic feasts and holy days. The huge main hall, which is over 600 feet long, can presumably house more than 24,000 worshippers under the French city floor. The arched pillars lining the interior of the hall are impressive, even if there are draughts. With no natural light due to its underground construction and ultra-modern rough concrete walls, St. Pius X Basilica has attracted criticism from many church members who would prefer a more traditional place of worship on the important sacred site. However, most visitors who wish to venture into the ground are impressed by the angular magnificence of the site.