Lovely towns

Picturesque fortified town continues to fascinate

West of Caldas da Rainha, is the town of Óbidos. Óbidos is a fortified town located on top of a hill, and still encircled by high walls. Once the town was surrounded by sea, so it was of strategic importance, which explains the high location and high walls.
Dom Dinis gave the town of Óbidos to his wife Isabela as a wedding gift. Together they spent their honeymoon in Óbidos. For ages Óbidos was the wedding gift for every new Portuguese queen.

The whole of the town of Óbidos is declared as a monument. It has many streets, alleys, squares, white houses, shops, and restaurants. The walls are still completely intact, so you can walk all around the village.

Just before the entrance you can find the Tourism office, here you can get your own copy of the Óbidos map and lots of other information.

The Castelo

The Castelo is very old. During the earthquake of 1755 it was heavily damaged. In the 20th century the ruins were reconstructed. After te reconstruction the castle became Portugal’s first poussada in a historic building. Unfortunately it is not open for the public, only for hotel guests.

In Conímbriga one of the largest Roman settlements of Portugal was found, and therefore declared National Monument.

The remains are of a very good quality. You can see an aquaduct of about 3 kilometers of length, a part of the forum and a temple, some graves, fortress walls with towers, and the foundations of some houses.

At the "Casa dos Mosaicos", the house with mosaics, you can see beautiful decorations with geometric figures, flower ornaments, and animal images.

At the "Casa das Termas", the house with the thermal baths, you can recognize the hot and cold baths. You can also see the heating system that used underfloor hot air circulation to heat the rooms. A system that is still in use nowadays!

In the Museu Monográfico, also part of the site, you can see all kinds of objects that were found in the excavations, like coins and surgical tools.

www.conimbriga.pt

One of the larges pilgrimage places in the world. Whether you're religious or not, this place is absolutely impressive.

In the spring of 1917 the 3 shepherds children Lucia, Jacinta and Francisco saw the apparition of the “lady of the rosary”. The first time this happened was on 13 May 1917, and after that day she returned every month until the last time on 13 October 1917. During her apparitions she tells the children 3 secrets.

Pilgrimage

Since then Fátima became an important pilgrimage place. Every year on 12 and 13 May, and 12 and 13 October, thousands of pilgrims travel to Fátima.
The most important building is the Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário (basilica of our lady of the rosary), a neo-classic church on the edge of the large square. The tower is 65 meters high, and the church is flanked by impressive colonnades that refer to other parts of the complex.
On the square visitors can follow the mass in the Capela das Aparições (chapel of the apparitions). In this chapel the exact location of the apparitions is marked by a statue of Maria. Inside the basilica are the graves of the 3 children. Lucia, who died in 2005 at the age of 96, was buried in the basilica in 2006.

Church of the Holy Trinity

Fátima is also the home base of the 4th largest catholic church in the world, the Igreja da Santíssima Trindade (church of the holy trinity).
This church was inaugurated in 2005 and has 9,000 seats. Renowned artists from Ireland, Canada, Portugal, Slovenia and Germany were involved in the construction. One can enter the church through 13 doors, the main entrance and the other 12 doors symbolize Jesus and the 12 apostles. Behind the altar is a mosaic, partly decorated with gold leaf. The gold represents the search for light by mankind. When you look at the left part of the mosaic, you see Mary and in front of her the 2 children who died young, behind her on the left you see Lucia. If you look even better at the mosaic you will see that the third woman from the left is Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
An Irish artist has made the crucifix above the altar. She has portrayed Jesus here with his head high and his eyes open. The idea behind this is the resurrection of Jesus looking at humanity.
On the outside of the church you see a statue of a pope on every corner. The best known is pope John Paul II, who had a warm relationship with Fátima. In 2000 he blessed Francisco and Jacinta, who died in 1919 and 1920.

 

 

Village with rich history

In 1385 the battle of Aljubarrota was fought between the Castilians and Portuguese aristocrats. Lead by João, the Portugese won the battle. This victory became symbol for the Portuguese independence of Spain. Out of gratitude for the victory, João commanded the construction of the monastry of Batalha, dedicated to Santa Maria da Vitória. After they died, João and his wife were buried in the monastry.

Every year in August the village of Aljubarotta organises a medieval festival.

At the tourist office you can get a map of Aljubarrota, with a nice walking route which takes you to all places of interest in the village.