Saturday, May 7, 2011

Fatima

On our fourth day we headed out to the famous basilica in the small but well known town of Fatima.  The town itself is pretty tiny and has a population of only about 8,000.....but, many thousands go there year round...and especially on pilgrimage days.  I didn't know this until I had read more about it online after being there.  It is a HUGE space ... amazing to round the corner and see such a massive area where people gather for special occasions.  On the 12 and 13 of the months of May through October in particular.

For some reason I don't have Maria's photos of this day ...yet.... so I will show mine.... and add some of hers later if she has some that I didn't take.  Fortunately, we were there on a day that was not a special pilgrimage day so were not hindered at all by crowds.  It seemed almost deserted really and it was wonderful to have it all to ourselves...

I must have been totally awestruck by the sheer size of it all .... because when it comes right down to it...I don't have many pictures at all.

The crown on which the cross is situated looks like pure gold to me.. especially with the sun shining directly onto it from behind...























































Even from here ..look at the size of everything!  Rookie travellers is part of it I suppose.... yes..I've been to England..and seen a few fairly big churches... but, didn't visit any of the huge cathedrals and the like.



















Proof we were actually there.   Have to have one of us standing in front of such a world renowned and special place ... ....

































The beautiful art works painted on the tiles ...























































Looking out at the gathering area from just below the huge spire.















We walked out across the square towards the huge cross you can see way in the distance.... and you can also see the little pathway... where we saw several people walking on their knees.  It is a marble pathway, apparently over 800 feet long, and then around the Chapel of Apparitions...where people walk the whole distance on their knees as part of their pilgrimage to Fatima. This site also has an aerial view of the square ....



















A very modern version as you can see .... and again.... gigantic.  And..looking back in the direction from where we had come...... you can hardly even see the steps and if anybody was speaking from there ...or standing there.. well, you would only see or hear them if there were huge screen and sound systems.  On special days...it must be an amazing situation to be in the thousands of pilgrims who would be there.  I don't particularly like crowds...so it wouldn't be for me...but, it must be special for many.  I read that the square was built to hold 250,000 people.















Outside the square ..on the way back to where we parked... dozens of tiny shops selling religious artifacts of every possible description.  Some of them were beautiful... some were less so...even to the point of tacky..but, I chose to take some photos of the beauty.















I really like this one.... such a serene and beautiful face.  Lovely colours...

































Of course, ....wandering towards somewhere to find coffee and some Portuguese cakes and desserts.... me and doors and windows yet again ....



















And...driving away....  just across the road and down the block.  I loved the outline against the evening sky with the sun in the background.... maybe Greek Orthodox?

5 comments:

Terra said...

Thank you for showing me all these photos of this holy place.

Dolores said...

Since I may never get to Portugal, I am loving my armchair holiday. Thanks for the tours...

Maa said...

Oh, Vee...those pots are beautiful in that little shop window. I want...I want!! I can see why you have so many photos. Can't miss an opportunity like this, can you?
Thanks Maa

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Vee,

That is the beauty of blogging, to be able to get a glimpse of some amazing places around the world.
Thank you for showing us your wonderful photos. Indeed a very amazing place you visited.

Happy weekend
Hugs
Carolyn

Susan said...

It is an amazing place - chock full of interesting gathering places, churches etc. The tile artwork is beautiful. No wonder you took hundreds of photos :D)