Deep in the woods surrounding the old Chateau of Paulmy in the South Touraine there is a Catholic Grotte (Grotto) to the Virgin Mary. I was guided to it by Julie Vasina who, with her husband, lives and runs the beautiful gite complex at the Domaine du Chateau de Paulmy.
The Grotte itself is now very overgrown and neglected but once it was the site of a communal procession which was conducted annually between 1885 to 1955. The Grotte to the Virgin Mary is actually named Lourdes Park Paulmy. The parkland was laid out and landscaped around 1860. An artificial cave or Grotte is a faithful replica of the cave at Lourdes and was built at the initiative of Gertrude de Stacpoole, Marquise d’Oyron, and was blessed on December 25, 1885.