Lourdes, a French town in the Hautes-Pyrenees, 12 miles S.W. of Tarbes, is chiefly noted as a place of pilgrimage, owing to the presence of a miraculous healing spring which burst forth at the command of the Virgin, who appeared to a peasant girl, named Bernadette Soubirous, in 1858. So runs the legend. There is a basilica and a Church of the Rosary, and many pilgrims resort to the spot, especially in August, There are marble and slate quarries, and some prehistoric caves in the neighbourhood. The Romans had a castellum on the rock at whose foot Lourdes is situated.