Meritxell epitomizes the story of the Andorran people’s devotion to their patron saint, Our Lady of Meritxell. The old chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary burnt down in 1972, along with the image of the Mother of God. The new Sanctuary, inaugurated in 1976, was commissioned to Ricard Bofill. The old Romanesque church was rebuilt in 1994 and transformed into a space for the collective memory of the people of Andorra.

Since the year 2014, the Sanctuary is part of the Marian Route, a cultural and religious itinerary across the main Marian temples of France, Spain and Andorra: El Pilar, Torreciudad, Lourdes, Meritxell and Montserrat.


Download the guide of the Sanctuary


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The new sanctuary:

Daily hours, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 


The old sanctuary and Bibles of the world exhibition:

Daily hours, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 


Guided tours from July to August: Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.


The Sanctuary can modify its opening hours according to its religious services

Free admission.

The sanctuary is adapted for people with limited mobility.

Free guided tours throughout July and August.

Audio-guided tours.

Unaccompanied nature itinerary to the oratories of Meritxell and the town of Prats.


L4 Pas de la Casa  +  Ctra. de Meritxell / CS-230 (800 metres)



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The basilica

Meritxell is currently one of the most representative examples of late-20th century Andorran architecture. Its architectural volumes are now part of our cultural landscape. Besides the image of Our Lady presiding over the nave – a 3D printed reproduction – the Sanctuary houses seven sculptures by Sergi Mas, corresponding to the patron saints of the parochial churches, thereby certifying Meritxell as the national sanctuary.

Following the approval of the Constitution in 1993, the meeting held by the Consell General (the Andorran Parliament) every September 8th (the festivity of the found images of the Virgin Mary) in the Sanctuary was abolished. This meant a separation of political and secular powers, thereby restoring the social and religious meaning of this festivity.

Furthermore, the Sanctuary was declared a basilica minor in July 2014 by the Pope Francis through a rescript for the Congregation for Divine Worship. This concession was a response to a petition made months earlier by the bishopric of Urgell, with the approval of Andorran authorities, to commemorate the centennial of the pontifical declaration of Our Lady of Meritxell as the main patron saint of Andorra by Saint Pius X. The solemn celebration of this act took place during the festivities of Our Lady of Meritxell held on September 8th 2014.

The title of basilica minor is a distinction granted by the Pope to the most important churches, with a significant history, culture, liturgical and pastoral life. The diocese of Urgell now has three basilica minors: the Sanctuary of Meritxell, the cathedral of Santa Maria de la Seu d’Urgell and the basilica of la Mare de Déu de Valldeflors in Tremp. Following the declaration, the Ambon was changed for a fixed stone one.

The Sanctuary of Meritxell also became part of the Marian Route on the same year as its distinction as a basilica minor.

The ecclesiastic authorities visit the exhibition
Some of the copies of the exhibition
The space housing the exhibition
Nomenament del santuari com a basílica menor

El 13 de maig de 2014, just cent anys després de la declaració pontifícia de la Verge de Meritxell com a patrona de les Valls d'Andorra, el Santuari va ser declarat basílica menor. A la imatge, les autoritats andorranes reben les autoritats eclesiàstiques el dia del nomenament.

Construcció d'un dels arcs del Santuari de Meritxell

ANA / Fons JMD

The Josep Moles collection

The National Archives of Andorra preserve the Josep Moles collection, a small collection of 135 images of the construction of the new Sanctuary of Meritxell, which can be consulted online. A photography amateur, Moles documented the entire construction, as his company was in charge of the electric work. The scope of the pictures goes from 1974 to the inauguration of the temple in 1976.

The “Bibles of the World” exhibition

The new Sanctuary also houses the Bíblies del món (“Bibles of the World”) exhibition, inaugurated in September 2016. This permanent exhibition features an ever-growing collection made of more than 1.600 copies in over 1.400 different languages, dialects and supports.

"Our Romanesque... in small format" exhibition

Inside the mirror cloister you can see the exhibition Our Romanesque... in small format, a display of scale models of Andorra's Romanesque churches.

It is a collection of ten models (the old sanctuary of Meritxell, Sant Serni de Nagol, Sant Climent de Pal, Santa Coloma, Sant Miquel d'Engolasters, Sant Romà de les Bons, Sant Joan de Caselles, Sant Martí de la Cortinada, Sant Cristòfol d'Anyós and Sant Esteve del Mas d'Alins) on a scale of 1:50 made by the craftsman Carlos Pérez Castelló and owned by the Crèdit Andorrà which was inaugurated on Meritxell Day in 2009.