La source du réseau hydraulique de l'eau de Lourdes

Lourdes hydraulic network in connection with the source of Massabielle:

Spring water, or water of the Gave?

Lift the veil on a question more of 150 years


Since the appearance of the Virgin Mary and the discovery by the little Bernadette to the source of Massabielle and his miraculous water in 1858, several studies have tried to originating this spring water, the main purpose being to prove that this source was not the Gave de Pau.

Researchers Jean de Bonnefon (1905), father Richard (1921), Eric Blanrue (2008), Jean de Levat (2008) concluded their analysis by speaking to a resurgence of the Gave.

Studies of the Abbot Mailhet (1921), all about analyzing geological and biological of the source of water of the cave and its benefits contradict previous findings. However, he confirmed the presence of two sources, one discovered by the Shepherdess, existing before the apparitions old water from a groundwater table, and a new source offered by Mary, the origin of which rested upon no geological basis.

Two other studies, one by the Caver Norbert Castaret (1940) and the other by the Abbot Georges Michelin (1959) abound in the sense of a hydrological network. Although these studies are characterised by the starting point of the source of Massabielle, respectively the Béout massive for one, and the collar of the Pourtalet for each other, they come together to affirm the absence of resurgence of the Gave de Pau.

It was in 1984 when the Office of research geological and mining of Toulouse, undertook a long and serious study. Sponsored by the Executive Department of the health and social of Tarbes, these 2 years of analysis highlight the Valley Batsurguere and the mountain of Béout as the main contribution of the source of the grotto of Lourdes 2 points and definitely bury the hypothesis of the resurgence of the Gave.

The latest study comes from work in 2015 of a geologist at the University of Warsaw (Poland), Dariusz Dobrzyn, and a chemist from the University of Padua (Italy), Davide Rossi. This work is based mainly on the analysis of water supplying directly the source of the grotto of Lourdes water.

These 19 water points identified for the more hand in the BRGM report, stem from caves, holes, sources, passages, chasms, which detail, that you find on the plan above, is:

  1. The source of Massabielle: original primarily a subterranean Lake and modestly Eingeschlossen loss, this deep water comes out to 12 ° C in the cave and is partly visible under his plate of glass. In order to have a flow of tanks under the esplanade and close to the episcopal cottage, allow this water retention and supply the fountains and pools by pumping.
  2. The source of the Merlasse has an emergence that passes under the hotel of Padua of Lourdes. It is accessible by a sump and then runs the rock and in the neighbouring hotel. It seems that this source has a hydraulic connection with the abyss of Millas.
  3. The Margaret source is located near the statue of the Queen of Scotland Margaret, at 350 metres downstream from the source of Massabielle. Its water is no longer accessible because the distribution taps have been removed. The only access is more than underground.
  4. The chasm of Millas is located on the former military area converted into a youth camp. It drains the same waters than the edge of the city of St. Peter. It has however been clogged up to avoid wastewater flow and not to infect the source of Massabielle.
  5. Hount to the Lavasses is close to the Museum of little Lourdes. This source of a powerful flow is manifested by a living waters stream from the loss of Eingeschlossen and jumping into the river.
  6. The sources of the Mouniquet lie over the Catholic Relief of Lourdes. Crossing the city of Saint-Pierre, this source is likely to partially power the source of Massabielle.
  7. Sources of Catholic relief services are composed of 2 resurgences that one feeds the small artificial lake and the other projects in the source of Massabielle.
  8. The Catholic Relief Services chasm revealed small resurgences downstream of the artificial restraint, and to the North, Bethlehem Pavilion. These water points, whose access was filled by blocks, benefit without certainty to the source of the cave.
  9. The source of the Cressonniere is located in front of the Lavasses Hount to parking of paradise either across the Gave confirming a link hydro passing under the river. This source is not visible from the parking lot construction work.
  10. The source of the fountain of Us or Uch is located opposite Soum de Lanne. at the edge of the river. This is resulting emergence of a joint, often dry, then empties into the river.
  11. The hole of the Boustu is located at the entrance of Segus right coming from Lourdes on the Boustu road. . The waters of this Creek are found initially to Hount of the Lavasses then in the source of Massabielle.
  12. Menigou sources are located near the farm of the camping of the forest and the Arboucau Brook. These small springs in part to feed the farm Menigou, accumulate in a small basin before seems you it to slowly flow to the source of the cave.
  13. The source of the cave of the Roy is located near the shooting range in a karst area filled with chasms. These waters feed into a trough partially updated.
  14. The fountain source of wood of Lourdes is located in the forest of Subercarrere. This source is captured to serve water, playgrounds and corners picnic of wood by several fountains.
  15. The chasm of Omex is located north of the village of Omex. East of the Castet Miu, water runoff into a hole called the hole of the fool in the massif of St. Pé.
  16. The loss of Omex Brook (the Boustu) and the bog of molds are located at the edge of the main road D13, at the exit of the village of Omex, direction Lourdes. Part of the water reach the Massabielle source and another part to Hount of Lavasses. Nearby, there is also a wet ecosystem area covered with peat called the bog of mussels. This bog share the stream of mussels which joined Omex.
  17. The loss of Eingeschlossen Brook is located in a meadow at the foot of the remains of the medieval tower of Estibayre. Its waters to evacuate by sinkholes. Part of the water would reach the source of the underground became Merlasse, then the the Lavasses Hount before flowing into the gave at the level of the Museum of the little Lourdes.
  18. The loss of Sauba of the Brook of battened originated in lands of the Aptian. Part of the loss runs to Hount of the Lavasses and the other party is found out of the source of Massabielle.
  19. The source of the Arribas and the crab of Omex is located northeast of the farm near the cliff of the Arboucau crab. These waters feed the summer camp of the Sisters of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Segus.
More than a century and a half of history, explorations, studies, analyses and sometimes false ideas, inexperiences, or bad intentions have impoverished reality.

Thanks to these latter 2 studies, serious and rich resource, the origin of the water of the grotto of Lourdes is clearly identified and unambiguous. It's good of the resurgences of water from several sources, of a hundred meters souterres, that feed the source of Massabielle. The thesis of a connection with the river water is permanently waived.