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Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, what to see?

Visit to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Fátima, considered one of the most important popular pilgrimage centers in the world.

It was our second day in Portugal, the objective: to visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima. This city became famous after the appearance of the virgin to three shepherd children and the sanctuary is considered one of the most important popular pilgrimage centers in the world. And there we went!

How to get to the Sanctuary of Fatima?

Thanks to Eli, we took the bus without any problems, because the fact that she spoke Portuguese made everything easier because even though I understand almost everything she says to me in Portuguese, I didn’t understand anything from the Portuguese, nothing at all, or so I can say that I understand Brazilian Portuguese, but Portuguese (at least from the north) I don’t.

So from Porto we arrived in a short time at the Fatima bus station and after a short walk there we were (there is no risk of losing yourself, it is well signposted).

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Our visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima

When I arrived I was impressed, the place was so beautiful, but another thing that impressed me is that I had the opportunity to see a religious place where there were more parishioners than tourists, in other places I had seen very large and beautiful churches, yes, but they seemed more galleries than places places of faith, because of the number of non-religious tourists there were.

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And here the opposite happened! What’s more, it was the first time in my entire stay in Europe that I had a problem taking out the camera to take photos, I had only had this feeling when I visited the churches in the center of Mexico. Although in the end I took pictures anyway 🙂 (embarrassed and all).

Today there are guided walks through the site, the truth is that it is a perfect way to have a general view (in addition to valuable explanations), and then go calmly to visit each place. The best of all is that it is free, well one leaves what one considers a tip, check out this Free tour of the Sanctuary of Fatima. Or if you want a guided tour, check out this Tour of Fatima.

We were very lucky, because the clouds turned very nice, a few hours before it was cloudy. Seeing the large spaces that there were, I could imagine that on other days that place would be full of parishioners. At that time there were people but not too many so I could perceive the peace that the enclosure transmitted. We stayed for a while looking at it from the front to enjoy its views.


The history of the candles: it turns out that believers who are going to ask the Virgin of Fatima for a favor generally promise candles, which can be from small to very large (you can even promise a candle the size of the person himself). They can also promise parts of the body in wax, as a gift for helping them to heal from an illness, etc. So that was also impressive for me, seeing the number of faithful with many candles in their hands.

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Vistas desde dentro del santuario

Surroundings of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima

This is a little of what we could see around the sanctuary. Among other things, we saw a super modern and abstract manger that contrasted with the place. There were several statues of popes and we realized who is the most popular pope of all. Everyone wanted to take a photo with the statue of John Paul II. Then we arrived at another temple where there was a crucifix but we could not know who it was that appeared on the cross, the figure was different from the traditional one.

From there, we went to buy souvenirs and then to eat and we could see the friendliness of the people.

Departing from Fatima

It was time to say goodbye to the city so we went back to the bus station and bought the next ticket to the city of Coimbra, which was our next stop.

This was our route through the North of Portugal:

  • Porto
  • Fatima
  • Coimbra

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Olga Grijalva Alvarez

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.

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