Lalouvesc, its Basilica, an unforgettable site!

All roads lead to... Lalouvesc, sanctuary town ! in any case the paths of hikes on foot, on horseback crossing the Val d'Ay, GR, mountain bike trails, loops and roads of the Ardèche! Do not miss the impressive Basilica of Lalouvesc and let yourself be transported by this sublime building.

Lalouvesc in the heart of the forest.

The Sacred Choir of Northern Ardèche stands at 1092 meters above sea level. Wrapped up in the forests of pines and larches. Rising between earth and sky, facing Mont Blanc: The majestic Basilica of Lalouvesc.  The spiers seem to echo the mountain range, which spreads out in a long panorama. The gaze is lost from the Bugey massif to the Vercors massif. In front of the forecourt of the church, place Marrel, you can enjoy an unmissable view.

Basilica Lalouvesc Northern Ardèche City Sanctuary a unique building@OTVald'Ay

A sanctuary built on history

First, the Basilica emerged from the ground in 1865 according to the plans of the architect Pierre Bossan. Indeed, the very one to whom the buildings of Fourvière in Lyon and of Ars. 

Raised partly with blocks of granite transported by oxen from the quarries of Nozières. And guess what? We got it from a neighbour: This former mason, who was in charge of the work when installing the heating at the back of the Basilica. “We had to drill through more than two meters of stone!” granite and marble. In short, this great " church " impresses passers-by as much as it attracts pilgrims

Finally his Neo-Bysantine style unique in Northern Ardèche and its colorful stained glass windows catch the eye. Its “Bourdon Joséphine”, a charming young lady weighing six tons, is the most massive bell in the department and gives rhythm to the life of the village.

Walk towards Lalouvesc

Certainly, Lalouvesc is the essential for healing be it cultural, spiritual, artistic and even sporting. In short, let yourself be seduced by this destination village in direct contact with the Ardèche nature, its beautiful forests and its viewpoints. Don't miss the best panorama of Mont Blanc just in front of the Basilica!

The hiking trails and circuits are numerous from the sanctuary of Lalouvesc. Thus, on foot to reach the Saint Régis fountain, on horseback to go around Mont Besset or even by bike following La Panoramique (cycling loop). You can also rent electric bikes. Go to the Tourist Office to enjoy the viewpoints without difficulty. 

As for the taste buds, let gourmets and gourmands prepare to discover two labeled recipes Taste the Ardèche : the Pavé Saint Régis and the Chastanha. 

Finally, all the food trades in the village will be able to offer you their specialties (charcuterie, pancakes, homemade ice cream, beer).

hiking trail in Ardèche and Saint Régis pilgrimage between Le Puy en Velay and the Basilica of LalouvescLalouvesc Tourist Office

Did you know ? Lalouvesc is recognized as a Sanctuary City.

Quesaco? A sanctuary city is of international notoriety and is distinguished by its landscapes, its heritage, its Saints or its pilgrimage routes. Be a member of the network Sanctuary cities in France, association, promotes and facilitates the stay of pilgrims and tourists religious or secular in these high places. 

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The Basilica, a sacred building of parity!

In Lalouvesc we have known about parity for a very long time. Indeed the Sanctuary is one of the few in France to be dedicated to two Saints and what is more a man and a woman.

Saint Therese Couderc (1805-1885), canonized in 1970,  whose body rests in the south chapel of the basilica. 

She lived in Lalouvesc for several years, with the aim of improving the reception and the spiritual formation of women on pilgrimage. Finally she founded the Congregation of the Cenacle specialized in the organization of times of formation or spiritual retreats.

Et St. John Regis, a Jesuit missionary from country of Vivarais died in Lalouvesc in 1640. Having come to celebrate Christmas in the small church, the apostle died of a sudden pleurisy after having confessed for hours in the freezing cold. The people then exclaimed: “The Saint is dead!” It must be said that the Jesuit Father, apostle of Vivarais, originally from Béziers, is known for his commitment to the poorest and for his miracles.

A rich cultural heritage!

We like to stroll or meditate Pilgrims Park !

The place is conducive to tranquility but also to the discovery of a religious heritage who shaped the landscape.

The Saint Regis Museum.

For nearly 400 years, crowds have flocked to Lalouvesc. They come from everywhere to see, contemplate, understand, pray, celebrate the Saint. Its history is discovered with wonder through the diorama produced by the artist Georges Serraz at the Saint Regis Museum

Thanks to this diorama, the artist brings to life the apostolic itinerary of Saint Jean-François Régis. Thus through 19 sketches, the wide horizons allow to see the Pyrenees or to widen the gaze towards the mountains of Vivarais. You understood it is an original and fun way to immerse yourself in the history and life of this great walker. And finally you can follow in his footsteps by taking the GR 430 (path of Saint Régis, 9-day roaming). 

The chapel and Espace Oudin.

We let ourselves be enchanted, under the painted ceiling of the St Regis Chapel. Moved by the works of Esther and Felix Oudin. The space dedicated to'Sacred Art is located just behind the Basilica. We discover tapestries and sculptures of biblical themes, large naïve-style Santons.

The crossroads of the arts.

Art lovers can extend the visit in summer to the Crossroads of the arts. The opportunity to admire contemporary works and meet the artists. How about ending the day with music? This is possible by taking advantage of the programming of Musical walks. 

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The crypt of the Basilica.

Lalouvesc, also called Montagne des Pardons. You will find in the basilica crypt, a unique place of memory. Impossible to stop in Lalouvesc without seeing this peaceful place, The crypt corresponds to the very first church that was built. The scars of history rub shoulders with hope, as evidenced by the many ex votos. You can admire the commemorative plaque of the 1st place where Saint Jean-François Régis was buried – a beautiful Pietà – a ceiling and some painted walls – the Lalouvesc War Memorial – a Monument dedicated to those shot as an example. 

The book " The basilica of Lalouvesc » is available for sale at the Lalouvesc tourist office for €10.

Path, paths, trails and hikes in Lalouvesc.

Many routes start from the village. On foot, on horseback, by bicycle, Lalouvesc is a crossroads for hikers. Whether you are rather family walk Sunday in the undergrowth or cyclo on mountain road the circuits are not lacking.

The Tree Trail You know ? A meeting place for solo athletes or groups of friends and thrill seekers, the semi-nocturnal trail is held every year on Halloween night! Tremble with fear and push your limits!

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