This Marian center of pilgrimage evokes the apparitions of Our Lady to the three little shepherds Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta, that occurred in 1917 and the powerful ones in 1930. The place is a country estate, called Cova da Iria and it belonged to Lucia's parents, who donated it to the sanctuary. It was here that five of the six apparitions took place.
The Sanctuary includes a Chapel of Apparitions, a Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary, the Prayer Hall and a Basilica of the Holy Trinity. Complementing the Sanctuary are the Retreat Houses of Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Carmel and the Paul VI Pastoral Center.
The castle of Ourém is one of the most innovative works of military architecture of the fifteenth century in Portugal. It was built by the Count of Ourem, together with D. Nuno Álvares Pereira. The castle has a compact structure with support systems and functional capacity, including two large pentagonal towers that function as bulwarks with greater firepower.
Behind the towers there is a palatial area, residence of the Counts, that has a form of a long tower and does not have the way of the new communication with the bulwarks.
At the top of the mountain, recessed relative to the palace and the castle, is the primitive castle of "Abdegas", dating back to the 12th century.
Praia da Nazaré is one of the most traditional Portuguese fishing villages, with the most popular bathing beach on the west coast.
The bathing beach, completely integrated in the urban area by the houses of the marginal, is limited to the north by the promontory and to the south by the pier of the port, conserving in the summer the traditional cloth huts.
Bathed by a sometimes wild sea and with strong swell, it is ideal for swimming, surfing and bodyboarding.
To appreciate the beauty of the beach in all its extension as well as the houses of Nazaré Beach it is worth climbing to the Nazaré Sitio, through the one hundred years old elevator, that connects the center of the village to its highest point.
Mira de Aire Caves
Discovered in 1947, the entrance of these caves is 300m high, but deep inside it descends to 180m. Its formation dates back 150 million years to the Middle Jurassic, when dinosaurs populated this region, leaving their footprints on the ground, which you can now see.
The caves are illuminated with effects of colored lights that highlight the beauty of shapes molded in stalagmites and stalactites. Along the way, the guide will draw attention to the strange calcareous forms molded in millions of years, such as "Alforreca", "Marciano" or the magnificent "Orgão". The "Rio Negro" descends cascading down to the "Grande Lago" where the faerie spectacle of Sound and Light takes place.
Lighting, stairs, walkways, an elevator and ambient music make the descent to this hidden world an unforgettable experience.
The largest Gothic church of the Order of Cister.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this imposing monastery is one of the most impressive and beautiful testimonies of the Cistercian architecture throughout Europe. The Abbey Foundation Charter dates from April 8, 1153 and, despite its almost 900 years, its set of medieval premises remains intact. Its church is the first and largest in primitive Gothic style, built in Portugal during the Middle Ages.
Contemporary of the foundation of Portugal, the Monastery also plays a role in its history. Founded by the first king, D. Afonso Henriques, and later consecrated to the Marian cult, it was built from the donation of lands in Alcobaça to Bernardo de Claraval and to the Order of Cistercians for the victory over the Moors in the conquest of Santarém.
Be sure to visit the impressive collection of medieval buildings, such as the Refectory, the Dormitory and the Chapter Hall, as well as the Cloister of D. Dinis, the surprising Kitchen and the Hall of the Kings.
The Hungarian Calvary is located on the Monte de Valinhos and belongs to the Sanctuary of Fatima, in the city of Fatima, Portugal. It is a place close to the Sanctuary, surrounded by an extensive green area. As you enter Monte dos Valinhos, you can experience the strong spirituality of peace and tranquility present in this environment, as well as the other places where the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima took place. In this place, the path traveled by the Shepherds - those who saw the Mother of Jesus -, the stations of the Via-sacra were built, ending at the Hungarian Calvary, whose official name is "Hungarian Calvary Cardinal Mindzenty". It is also composed of the chapel dedicated to St. Stephen, King of Hungary. This space also portrays facts related to the Devotion to Our Lady of Fatima.
Valinhos de Fátima
The small village of Aljustrel was the birthplace of the three little shepherds and the house of the brothers Francisco and Jacinta can be visited, as well as Lúcia’s house, converted in a museum, depicting local lifestyle in the beginning of the 20th century. Departing from Aljustrel you can walk along the Valinhos via sacra. This is the path that Lúcia, Jacinta and Francisco pursued from Aljustrel to Cova da Iria.
This via sacra has 14 stations in memory of the Lord’s Passion and and a 15th station evoking the Resurrection known as the Hungarian Calvary or Santo Estêvão Chapel. Both the Chapel and he 14 via sacra stations were given by Hungarian Catholics, refugees in Western world after the soviet invasion of Hungary.
One of the most fascinating places in the Iberian Peninsula.
A decisive event for the consolidation of the Portuguese nation took place on August 14, 1385, near the spot where the Monastery of Batalha stands: D. João, Master of Avis and the future king of Portugal, overcame the Castilian armies in the battle of Aljubarrota. This victory put an end to a dynastic crisis that had dragged on since 1383, since the death of King Ferdinand, whose only daughter was married to the King of Castile, an aspirant to the throne of Portugal.
D. João dedicated the monastery to the Virgin Mary, who he had invoked to intercede his triumph and donated it to the Dominican Order, to which his confessor belonged. This gave way to the birth of a work whose construction would last for almost two centuries and which resulted in one of the most fascinating Gothic monuments of the Iberian Peninsula. The construction of the monastery also embodied the consecration of King João I as king of Portugal, thus assuming itself as a symbol of the new dynasty and legitimised by divine will.
Its architectural value and historical significance spurred the classification of the monument as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
Convent of Christ
In 1983, UNESCO awarded the classification of world heritage to the Templar Castle and the Convent of the Knights of Christ in Tomar, a unique monument in the history of the western world.
Afonso Henriques, our first king, bestowed upon the Knights of the Temple of Jerusalem vast tracts of land between the Mondego and Tagus rivers. Legend has it that, on reaching this region, the Knights were inspired by favourable omens to choose a hill on which to establish a castle and the name that they were to give to it: Tomar. The Order of the Temple was disbanded in 1314 as a result of its persecution by the French king Philip IV, the Fair. However, at the wishes of the Portuguese king D. Dinis, the members of the order, its property and privileges were all totally integrated into a new order - the Militia of the Knights of Christ in 1319. Together with Prince Henry the Navigator, the new military Order began to prepare the Portuguese nation for the great enterprise of the maritime discoveries of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Tomar Castle was by then a Convent and the headquarters of the Order, and Prince Henry was made its governor and perpetual administrator.
This is how the Convent of Christ contains in its architectural ensemble testimonies of Romanesque art, with the Templars; of the Gothic and the Manueline with the discoveries, continuing with the art of the Renaissance during the Reformation of the Order; then Mannerism and finally the Baroque in architectural ornaments. The round-shaped temple, built by the Templars, has the church that reigns Constantine over the Holy Sepulcher, in Jerusalem. Over time, the enormous convent, has been developed around the church, its importance to the set of four great cloisters, the infirmary of the Order and also the aqueduct with 6 kilometers of extension built by the Spanish king Filipe III.