Fatima is a city in Central Portugal which is located in the central region of the Ourem municipality in the Medio Tejo. It has a population of 7 thousand inhabitants. The town is located 123 kilometers north of Lisbon and 187 km south of the city Porto. The small town has become popular all over the world when in 1917, religious visions of three children on the Virgin Mary become known to many. The city is named after a Moorish princess, Fatima who was converted to Catholicism following her marriage to the count of Ourem.
Millions of people gather to commemorate the apparitions during key dates of May 13 and October 13. The paying of homage of many people roots to the spiritual visions in the pasture Cova da Iria. In 1917, three Portuguese children Lucia dos Santos and Jacinta and Francisco Marto saw visions of angels and the Virgin Mary. The three shepherds as they are popularly called have been declared as blessed.
The place is a typical example of a destination in Portugal which relies on religious tourism. The shrine of the Fatima has been developed following the mass visits of pilgrims and religious devotees alike especially during special Marian occasions. Specialty shops selling memorabilia as well as religious souvenirs are numerous in the city streets. As for people who would like to visit the place, hotels and other forms of accommodations which cater to low cost budgets up to more expensive ones are available.
Numerous tour packages are available for devotees and people who would just like a peaceful experience and a sight of the shrine dedicated to the Lady of Fatima. Other than religious homage, the tours will also include views of the Obidos and its charming wall architecture as well as the nearby fishing area of Nazare. The Batalha Monastery is also worth a visit. It has a marvelous Gothic style of architecture and is declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
For devotees and people seeking a spiritual refuge and a site for prayer and appreciating the blessings the Almighty has provided, a visit to Fatima is a must.