Gianmarco Maraviglia | Photojournalist

Crazy nights in Lourdes

Lourdes is one of the holiest places in the world for Catholics. Millions of pilgrims have traveled in pilgrimage to the cave where, in 1858, the shepherdess Bernadette had visions of the Virgin Mary, and where afterwards was erected the imposing Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. But during the Military pilgrimage the atmosphere is much less austere. Thousands of soldiers in uniform, from all over the world throng the narrow streets in the center of the village and, throughout the night, crowd the bars drinking large amounts of alcohol. Later the party moves on in the clubs, drinking and dancing until dawn . Then, in the morning, again Mass and and religious functions, in an incredible mix of sacred and profane. I joined a group of pilgrims to tell, between the sacred and the profane, a Lourdes never seen.

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