Santuário de Nossa Senhora de Fátima
This pilgrimage centre evokes the apparitions made by Our Lady to the three shepherds, Lúcia, Francisco and Jacinta, that took place in 1917 and were recognised in 1930. The site was a rural place called Cova da Iria and which belonged to Lúcia´s parents who then donated it for the sanctuary. It was here the first apparition occurred.
The Sanctuary complex includes the Basilica, a Prayer Area, the Chapel of Apparitions, the Most Holy Trinity Church, Our Lady of Suffering Retreat, the Our Lady of Rest Retreat, the Our Lady of Carmel Retreat and the Paul VI Pastoral Centre.
The Basilica was designed by Dutchman Gerard van Kriechen and built by architect João Antunes. The first stone was blessed in 1928, but the church was only consecrated in 1954. This was when Pope Pius XII granted it the status of Basilica.
The architectural and decorative styles are extremely simple. On the inside, there are 14 lateral altars dedicated to the mysteries of the Rosary. The stained-glass windows and the paintings in the main section of the church are the work of João de Sousa Araújo. They were completed in 1967 and represent scenes from the life of Our Lady, the Apparitions and the Message of Fátima. The main altar depicts the Evangelists, the Apparition of the Angle and scenes of pilgrimage. They were created by the Madrid based Maumejean y Hijos company. On the right side of the transept, by the Evangelist, there is the tomb of Francisco, who died in 1919. On the left side, by the Epistle, there is the tomb of Jacinta, who died in 1920 and to the other side, there the tomb of Sister Lúcia, who died in 2005.
Attention should also be paid to the Italian made organ. It was completed in 1952, has 152 registers and around 12,000 tubes.