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Ourém is a municipality in the historic Portuguese province of Beira Litoral. The main historical attraction of the municipality is the mighty Castle of Ourém. Millions of faithful Catholics come to the parish of Fátima (which has its own separate article) every year to visit Cova da Iria, the site where three child shepherds are said to have had visions of Our Lady of Fátima in 1917. The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima has become one of the largest religious tourism sites in the world.


The Castle of Vila Nova de Ourém.

The municipality of Ourém (oh-RUHNEE, /o.ˈɾɐ̃j/) has a population 45,932 (2011), with about 13,000 in the city of Ourém itself and another 13,000 in the city of Fátima.


The Parish Church of Ourém

A fortification has existed in the region of Ourém since at least the period of Muslim domination. The area was reconquered by Christians in 1136, and the town was donated in 1178 by the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, to his third daughter, Princess Theresa. According to popular myth, the name of the village is actually derived from a Moorish princess who converted to Christianity under the name of Oureana.

The town's historical nucleus developed around the Castle of Ourém, which during the Reconquista served as watchpost for the Castle of Leiria, an important nearby stronghold. Under Count Afonso (1402–1460), fourth Count of Ourém, the town flourished. To accommodate his court, Count Afonso remodelled the old-fashioned castle and built a palace inside it following the trends in 15th-century Italian military architecture.

After reaching its peak in the 15th century, the town entered a period of relative decline. The town and castle were greatly damaged by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake and the Napoleonic invasions.

Visitor information[edit]

Get in[edit]

The municipality is served by the A1 motorway (Autoestrada do Norte).

Get around[edit]

Map of Ourém


The monumental statue of Saint Nuno of Saint Mary (Álvares Pereira)
Typical houses of Ourém

The ruins of the palace and castle are the main historical and touristic attraction of the town nowadays. Count Afonso is buried in the crypt of the main church of Ourém in a magnificent Gothic tomb created by one of Portugal's main sculptors of the time, Diogo Pires-o-Velho.

  • 1 Castelo de Ourém (Castelo de Ourém, Paço dos Condes de Ourém). Medieval hilltop castle at an altitude of 330 m (1,080 ft). Castle of Ourém (Q7111322) on Wikidata Castle of Ourém on Wikipedia
  • 2 Museu Municipal de Ourém, Praça Dr. Agostinho Albano de Almeida 24, +351 249 540 900, . Apr–Sept: Tu–Su 10:00–13:00 & 14:00–18:00; Oct–Mar Tu–Su 09:00–13:00 & 14:00–17:00; closed M. Exhibits include archeology and local history. Casa do Administrador (Q10333570) on Wikidata






  • 1 Pousada Ourém, Largo João Manso, Castelos, +351 218 442 001, . Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 11:00. Three-star, 30-room pousada with swimming pool, restaurant, room service, and free Wi-Fi. €81-121.


Go next[edit]

  • Fátima — A worldwide famous city due to the phenomenon of the Marian apparitions. At least should be visited the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima (with the Chapel of the Apparitions and the Basilicas), the Way of the Cross stations (in Valinhos) and the small village of Aljustrel.
  • Nazaré — A lovely village that became an internationally surf spot and entered in the Guinness Book of Records by its gigantic sea waves.
This city travel guide to Ourém is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.