Ourém

Ourém belongs to the municipality of Santarém and is mostly located on a plain, having its highest point in cabeço de Óbidos. Its primitive name was Abdegas, being replaced in the 12th century by the Latin word Aurem. After having been under Moorish domination, it was conquered by Dom Afonso Henriques in 1136. Ourém Castle was built in 1178, developed afterwards around the village, where today the historic center lies. It was only elevated to town in 1991, as until then it was known as Vila Nova de Ourém (New Village of Ourém). The best known area of this municipality is Fátima for its importance in religious terms, which earned the biggest tourist complex of Rota do Sol. It was in the place of Cova da Iria where, in 1917, more precisely between May 13 and October 13, according to Catholic beliefs, the apparitions to three shepherd children took place. On August 19 occurred the last apparition, this time in Valinhos. Later several monuments were constructed, the first being the Capela das Aparições (Chapel of the Apparitions) in Cova da Iria. Later, between 1928 and 1953, the shrine of Fátima was built. You can also visit the house where Francisco and Jacinta, two of the three Shepherd children, lived and the Museu das Aparições de Fátima (Museum of the Apparitions of Fatima), where the apparitions and the message the Virgin has given to the shepherds are depicted. Another attraction in the area are the Grutas da Moeda de São Mamede caves, discovered in 1971 by two hunters. They consist of galleries of limestone formations with a visitable extension of about 350 meters and a depth of 45 meters.

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