|In the fifteenth century, close to the site where the shrine now stands was a small chapel dedicated to St Stephen. In the sixteenth century, the bishop of Lamego, D. Manuel de Noronha, commissioned from the "holy city" of Rome a statue of the Virgin Mary that would cure all ills, placing it inside a new chapel that he had ordered to be built in place of the earlier chapel dedicated to St Stephen.
From then on, the number of worshippers of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios continued to grow, until in the eighteenth century work began for the building of the majestic shrine dedicated to her.
Every year, from the end of August to the middle of September, the city of Lamego is given over to festivities, with the Festas da Cidade (City Festival) being held to coincide with the "Romaria de Portugal", a religious pilgrimage dedicated to the city´s patron saint.
The festivities are attended by vast hordes of people in their thousands and for three weeks there are shows, exhibitions, concerts, parades, dancing, cultural events and sports competitions.
On the days leading up to the religious festival, the celebrations include a torchlit procession, with a parade of allegorical floats and a battle of flowers.
The triumphal procession is the most symbolic moment of the whole festival. The enormous wooden frame bearing the statue of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios is carried on a brightly decorated cart pulled by coupled oxen, for which special permission is granted by the Vatican, making Lamego the only place in the Catholic world where it is possible to see a statue of the Virgin Mary being carried by animals.