Javier Castle
Saint Francisco Javier
Mayor's greetings

Religious tourism


Photo: Josep Renalias

Javier is a tourist centre because of its historical and artistic value. It is also the birthplace of St. Francis Xavier, Jesuit saint. This fact makes it a point of pilgrimage and religious meetings. Javier is a sanctuary, a quiet, peaceful oasis. Anyone visiting at once can see and feel this. It is a special place. San Francisco Javier attracts many people from across the country and around the world, many with a religious spirit. They come out of devotion and a strong faith... In some cases, their fervour when they reach the southern lands turn their visit into a pilgrimage which of course contains Javier 's shrine. The following are two religious routes.

Javier, on the way to Lourdes
There are many people who follow this little path annually, that includes three shrines, whiich curiously are in three different countries. Some start in Portugal, at the Shrine of Fatima. In Spain one can go with a visit to Zaragoza and the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Pilar. As a resting place and the link between Spain and France is the sanctuary of Javier, the birthplace of St. Francis Javier. France is near the Sanctuary of Lourdes and a mere 3 hours.

Loyola - Javier - Manresa
Jesuit religious path. First, the shrine of the founder of the Jesuits, St. Ignatius of Loyola in Azpeita in Gipuzcoa in the Basque Country, and from there the traveler stops at Javier, the birthplace of his great friend and fellow Jesuit priest Francis Javier. From there the trip culminates in Manresa, where as the result of intense meditation and reflection Loyola finally constituted the Society of Jesus.

Monumental Complex of the Sanctuary of Loyola
The monumental complex of the Shrine of Loyola is a key element of religious tourism in the Basque country. It is a series of buildings erected around the tower house of Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, today known as the Holy House, the Basilica of Loyola, dominated by a dome and with by a wide porch in front, decorated 'churrigeresque' style, the lush Spanish Baroque mode. Construction began in the S. XVII and was inaugurated in 1738 in honour of San Ignacio.

Cave of Manresa
Natural cave set in the rock, with a view of the mountain of Montserrat. According to tradition, St. Ignatius of Loyola retired for a season to meditate and write his famous Spiritual Exercises. Over the years, a simple little cave has become the most monumental and magnificent building of the city. A large sanctuary has been built on top of the cave, which has arguably become the quintessential monument to St. Ignatius and one of the world's universal Jesuit references.