The Association of « Villes Sanctuaires » of France

The Association of the Sanctuary-Towns in France regroups Tourist Offices and Sanctuaries whose common objective is :

  • the partnership between the tourist offices and the people who are responsible for the sanctuaries to give a better welcome to tourists, visitors and pilgrims and to inform them better.
  • the setting-up of a united network by putting together and exchanging of experience and competencies of each person,
  • putting into action a strategy to promote, which is carried out in a special partnership with the Maison de France (organization for tourism in France and abroad)


  • 1993
    • informal contact between the directors of the tourist offices in Lisieux, Paray le Monial and le Puy en Velay at the MITCAR fair.
  • 1994
    • six of the most important places for pilgrimages in France (Lisieux, le Puy-en Velay, Nevers, Paray-le-Monial, Rocamadour and Sainte-Anne d’Auray) meet together and found the Association
  • 1997-2004
    • Chartres, Lourdes, le Mont-Saint-Michel and Ars all join in turn, the Association
  • 2008
    • new associates : the Sanctuaries of la Salette and of Pontmain
  • 2009
    • joining of the Sanctuary of Notre-Dame de Laus with the Tourist office of le Gap region.
  • Today
    • the Association counts 13 town-sanctuaries – this number is non-exhaustive

How it works

Five times a year, the rectors or their representatives from the sanctuaries meet with the directors of the tourist offices from the respective towns in order to carry out common objectives to promote and to welcome visitors. This gathering, which is a real stimulant for the town and the sanctuary, also shows the common desire to integrate the holy place with the city. The sanctuary should not be considered or seen as something outside of the town and its preoccupations.

To welcome you

The Association for the Sanctuary-Towns is available to help you organize your trip in France. Visit the site.

Member towns of the association