Lourdes, Hautes-Pyrénées, France

Ever since Our Lady appeared in visions to Bernadette Soubirous in 1858, Lourdes has been a place of pilgrimage and alleged miraculous healings, attracting millions of visitors every year. Nuns, priests, pilgrims and tourists intermingle in the shops and streets. Lourdes has more hotels than any other town or city in France next to Paris. These sheer numbers of visitors have given rise to commercial tourism at its tackiest, in stark contrast to the pious nature of the pilgrimage..