8. Lestelle-Bétharram

The 17th-century Marian sanctuary at Lestelle-Bétharram is a masterpiece of baroque art and architecture, and is a listed Historic Monument. Tradition has it that the Virgin saved a young girl from drowning here by holding a branch out to her under the bridge (beth-arram means beautiful branch in the Béarn dialect) and over eighty miracles are said to have been reported here in the 17th century. Aside from the sanctuary and cathedral, a visit to the Calvary on the hill behind the sanctuary is rewarded with a walk through a beautiful woodland setting, with 13 eclectic style chapels depicting the Passion cycle, sculpted by Alexandre Renoir. Lestelle-Bétharram is a 40 minute drive from Le Belvedere.