Lovely towns

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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

Probably the most well known coastal village of the Costa de Prata

Originally Nazaré was a fishing village. Not so very long ago the fishermen used oxes to pull the boats out of the water, helped by men and women standing in the water. Now you can only see this on painted tiles (azulejos) for sale in the many souvenir shops.

The fishermen now use a modern harbour on the southside of the village. On the promenade you can still see the women of Nazaré in their remarkable traditional clothes, wearing and short skirts (in 7 layers) and colourful scarfs and socks. They dry the catch of they day on racks, they sell dried fruits, or rent out rooms to tourists.

Because of the extensive beach, Nazaré is one of the most popular seaside resorts in central Portugal, and especially during the summer months it's very lively. But be aware: the sea can be very rough. And that’s exactly why Nazaré hosts surfing championships every year. The American Garrett McNamara set a new worldrecord in November 2011 with riding a wave more than 27 metres high. In January 2013 he broke is own record by surfing a wave of a stunning 34 metres.

O Sítio

High above the town is O Sítio, which can be reached by a funicular. All of Nazaré can be seen from there, and on a clear day you can see as far as Peniche.

On the main square in Sítio is the Capela da Memória, a small chapel almost completely covered with azulejos.

Also on the square is the 17th century Nossa Senhora da Nazaré Church. Again many azulejos, but more important is the black Madonna. Twice per year this statue attracts many pilgrims: Assumption Day on 15 August, and Romaria da Senhora da Nazaré in the second week of September.

Museums

  • Museu Etnográfico Dr. Joaquim Manso: history and folclore of Nazaré

  • Casa Museu do Pescador: exhibition about the fishing population of Nazaré, located in a traditional fishermen's house

 

www.cm-nazare.pt