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What to See in Fatima in One Day

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July 4, 2024

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Galyna Rogovska

Fatima is a city in the municipality of Ouren, located in the Central Region of Portugal. The history of one of the most prominent spiritual centers of the World is tightly connected with Arabs. They also gave it a name, which changed several times due to specific historical events.

Interesting fact about Fatima

From a small village in the center of Portugal, in the Santarem mountains, between Lisbon and Porto, Fatima has grown into a sacred city for Catholics worldwide, with 10,000 inhabitants. 

This is partly thanks to the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary here in 1917, which made Fatima a vital pilgrimage center. Interestingly, the city's name comes from the Moorish name of a girl who, according to legend, converted to Catholicism in the 11th century in this area.

image of Fatma


The church considers this event to be a genuine miracle. Thousands of Catholics travel to Fatima on May 13 every year because the city is Portugal's spiritual hub. Anyone wishing to honor the Mother of God can find a place to worship in this expansive area. In our times, religious events occur in Fatima Square, and religious orders sound in the Basilica building.

Every year, tourists from all over the globe converge on the Portuguese city of Fatima to celebrate the church's official confirmation of the appearance of the Virgin Mary. 

While visiting for a few days, take advantage of the fantastic Moeda Caves and Mira de Aire Caves near the city, which contain bizarre stalactites and stalagmites. A trip to the Natural Monument of the Dinosaur Footprints in Ourem, a kind of Jurassic Park, will also be enjoyable.


The church formally confirmed and recorded Our Lady of Fatima's appearance. The Basilica was constructed in the preceding century and later became a place of pilgrimage. These artifacts belong to Lucia, her cousin Jacinta, and her cousin Francisco, the three eyewitnesses who saw the Virgin Mary appear.

Here's a list of the main attractions that you must see.

The Basilica of the Holy Trinity

image of Fatima


The Catholic church is situated on the grounds of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima, known as the Basilica of the Holy Trinity. This Basilica is among the biggest Christian churches in the world, built between 2004 and 2007. On June 6, 2004, Bishop Seraphim Ferreira e Silva laid the first stone for the Basilica's foundation. After Pope John Paul II blessed and donated the stone, construction was underway, and a piece of marble from the tomb of the Apostle Peter was housed in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. It was meant to be a symbolic gift, and the stone was later placed inside the built church for pilgrims to examine more closely. The Basilica was dedicated in October 2007 to commemorate the ninety-first anniversary of the Virgin Mary's appearance in Fatima. There are about 8,500 seats in the church.

The building was constructed under the supervision of Greek architect Alexandros Tombazis on donations from pilgrims. The Basilica's exterior and interior decorations are in the Byzantine style. The interior is adorned with artwork created by well-known international artists, not to mention the attention-grabbing hand-crafted mosaic made of tiles inside the Basilica. It is worth noting that you can get inside through one of 13 doors. This number is because 13 people were present at the Last Supper. The visitors may study the quotes from the Bible in 23 languages ​​on the walls.

Location: Av. de Dom José Alves Correia da Silva, 2496-908 Fátima, Португалия

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima

image of Fatima


The Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima appeared between 1928 and 1944, and its completion and consecration took place in October 1953. 

The Dutch architect Gerard van Krieken created the Basilica, a neo-baroque temple featuring a massive esplanade and a 65-meter-tall tower. It took the spot where the Virgin Mary, later known as Our Lady of Fatima, appeared to three children in 1917. 

According to the legend, the shepherd children saw the Mother of God, and the church officially approves of her apparition. Most pilgrims come to the Basilica in May and October, and the estimated annual number of visitors is 4 million. 

The graves of Reverends Francisco Marto, Jacinta Marto, and Lucia Santos—the children who saw the appearance of the Virgin Mary—are located in the Basilica. The Basilica stained glass windows depict scenes from the Virgin Mary's appearance.

Location: Cova de Iria, 2496-908 Fátima, Portugal

The Chapel of the Apparition of the Virgin Mary

image of Fatma

The Virgin Mary's appearance to three children in 1917 brought fame and recognition to this city.

The exact spot where the Virgin Mary appeared to the three children is the Chapel of the Apparition of the Virgin Mary, right in the middle of the sanctuary. A marble pillar with a statue of Our Lady stands next to the chapel. Locals constructed the small chapel in April 1919 and used it for its first service in October 1921. In 1923, the church went through a reconstruction process. Every year, the sanctuary welcomes about 4 million pilgrims.

To commemorate the anniversary of the Virgin Mary's apparitions, pilgrims worldwide travel to Fatima in May each year. A statue of the Virgin Mary is moved from the Chapel of the Apparition and set up on the altar outside on May 13. The service is open to all and lasts the entire night.

Location: Cova de Iria, 2496-908 Fátima, Portugal

Wax Museum of Fatima

image for wax museum fatima

The Fatima Wax Museum allows you to explore nearly the whole chronicle of the city of Fatima. A little town called Fatima rose to fame when three children saw the Mother of God and were given the so-called "Three Mysteries" revelation. The texts of these messages can be read on the official Vatican website. All messages were recognized as reliable, and Fatima became a place of worship for many believers worldwide.

The wax museum's collection includes 112 (and, according to some sources, 113) exhibits. Established in 1984, the museum draws many visitors because it has life-size wax replicas of significant historical events from 1917, including the appearance of the Virgin Mary to young children. The museum also features 31 scenes featuring wax figures. Scenes from Jesus Christ's life are on display for visitors.

In early 2003, the museum underwent restoration, adjusting to new technologies to produce special effects. A new room with temporary exhibitions was added to the museum, and the wax figures were restored.

Location: R. Jacinta Marto, 2495-450 Fátima, Portugal

Aljustrel Museum

A tiny village called Aljustrel is located outside of Fatima. The incredible events known as the miracle of Fatima helped Aljustrel gain its status. The children who saw the Virgin Mary in 1917, Francisco Marto, Jacinta Marto, and Lucia dos Santos, were born and raised in this village.

The ethnographic house museum is situated on the same street as the children's houses that witnessed the "Miracle of Fatima," as this apparition of the Virgin Mary is known. The museum building belonged to Lucia's godmother. Since 1969, the building has housed the Center for Regional Ethnography. 

Afterwards, the house was bought, restored, and opened as a museum. The purpose of this museum was to show the way of life of the village residents in 1917 and tell about the crafts of that time: weaving, tailoring, and shoemaking. It is worth noting that since the Fatima miracle, the houses on this street have remained virtually unchanged.

The paintings in the museum's collection portray scenes from a village's life at the close of the 1800s, featuring its three tiny residents who were present when the miracle occurred. Here, the visitors can see the tools, collectable household items from the Fatima miracle, antique furniture, and pots with jars. There is an exposition of a granary, a bread oven, and a current in the courtyard. 

Location: Aljustrel 2495-305 Fátima, Portugal


Fatima is a well-known Christian destination in the Catholic world. Thousands of people with spiritual purposes come to Fatima annually to commemorate the anniversary of the Virgin Mary's appearance and cleanse their bodies and souls. 

Visitors have an opportunity to discover majestic historical and cultural attractions and witness the miracle. A trip to Fatima will be enjoyable for both religious and non-religious travelers.

It is worth noting that even if you come here late in the evening, you can see an attraction in an unusual way. With night illumination, the temple looks no less beautiful.

Everyone should visit Fatima in Portugal to understand ​​what the modern and most important center of Christianity, along with the Vatican, looks like.

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