Fatima Sanctuary

Celebrating Faith and Traditions at Fátima, Portugal

Fátima, Portugal is a celebrated sanctuary that offers travelers an unforgettable spiritual journey. Fatima, a hilltop city in the Ourém municipality in Leira Region, became famous due to the recorded series apparitions of the Virgin Mary to three village children in 1917.

Since then, the place became a major Catholic pilgrimage site, attracting thousands of pilgrims each year most especially every May 13 and October 13, the most important dates of the apparitions. Here, pilgrims flock the holy sites to celebrate and renew their faith.

Major Sites in Fatima, Portugal

For visitors looking to experience a great spiritual journey in Fatima, one of the sites that they should not miss in the city is the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima, a religious complex built to commemorate the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to Jacinta, Francisco and Lucia.

The major building in the national shrine is the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, a neo-classical church fronting a large plaza. The basilica’s central towers rise 65 meters high, and the church is flanked by impressive colonnades that link to other parts of the complex.

At the heart of the basilica, visitors can hear mass at the open-air Chapel of Apparitions, where they can find the exact location of the apparitions marked by a statue of the Virgin Mary. Also inside the basilica are the tombs of the three witnesses, where pilgrims also pay their respect to.

Not only the place where apparitions of the Virgin Mary happened, Fatima is also home to the fourth largest Catholic church in the world, the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade. Built in the 2000s within the shrine, the church can house 9,000 worshippers.

Nearby and in connecting streets, several shops selling religious items and regional crafts are a must-see stopover for tourists wanting to take home souvenirs of their trip.

Nearby Attractions at Fatima, Portugal

Aside from pilgrims paying religious homage, tourists also visit Fatima as an important stopover on day tours around Lisbon and Portuguese cities. The tours usually include nearby towns such as Óbidos, a romantic Medieval village where tourists can view its legendary castle, fortified wall and the charming residential houses it protects.

Nazare is another interesting town, a peaceful fishing village prized for its picturesque beaches, cafes and craft shops. The monastery at Batalha is a must-see, its stunning Gothic architecture declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Fátima, Portugal is located 123 km north of Lisbon and 187 km south of Porto. Tourists can avail of bus rides and car rentals to go round Fatima, as well as visit nearby Portuguese cities. With tourism being Fatima’s main economy, the city offers a huge selection of accommodations to suit every budget.

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