National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida

National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida

National Sanctuary of Our Lady of Aparecida
5
Religious SitesChurches & Cathedrals
5:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Monday
5:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Tuesday
5:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Wednesday
5:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday
5:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday
5:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday
5:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles4,948 reviews
Excellent
4,105
Very good
699
Average
112
Poor
19
Terrible
13

UNDTRIPS
Sao Paulo, Brazil59 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2011 • Friends
National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida

The Basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida (Aparecida = The found one) is located in the city of Aparecida, in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Aparecida is Brazil’s Patroness. It is the third largest Catholic Church in the world. It was established on July 4th, 1980, when John Paul II visited Brazil for the first time. It is the central point of the city life.

Everything in Aparecida seems to exist due to the devotion to Our Lady Aparecida, under whose intercession many Brazilian Catholics have received favors and pay her homage by visiting the temple. It is a huge cathedral and an amazing complex. The main church is reached by a footbridge which may prove challenging for the elderly, mainly returning from the Basilica to the city for the footbridge has a slight upward tilt in that direction. Some people cross it on their knees to thank for miracles achieved. The city of Aparecida sits in a valley and the weather can get really warm so be advised.

It all began when some fishermen circa the XVIII century were casting their nets in the Paraiba River unsuccessfully until they retrieved the head of a statue of Mary and soon after retrieved the body. After this they caught an amazing amount of fish in their nets. After this other miracles followed. The original statue which might have been brought from Portugal was originally Black and so remained until vandals crashed it. When the statue was put together again, they finally realized that the Black color was due to a layer of clay which might have been added by time in the River banks.

Today we have the old basilica which is a smaller church built around 1770 and the new basilica which stands for the large compound depicted above. The new basilica has received pilgrimage since the early 1970’s. The 12th of October, the day when the image was found, is a national holiday and literally thousands of people visit the Shrine on this date. So, unless you like way crowded places don’t go there during the week of October the 12th.
Written January 30, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rodrigo X
São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil64 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2016 • Couples
People use to say that Aparecida (the name of the city where is located the hole sanctuary) is a religious tourism - but not even me or my wife are so devoted, and we just loved. The place is enormous (is almost so big that you'll find at Vaticano) - the energy in some places are quite strange and you feel how small you are in front of all people that pass by there. You can also take a hide on a lift to take a picture from the top of Cruzeiro Hill and so many other things. I extremely recommend the trip - just rembember that you will have to walk a lot, and temperature easily hits 100F - but not to worry, there a lot of places to buy water from the region.
Written December 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mazeva
Rio de Janeiro, RJ29 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019
As an atheist, I'm skeptical to all religious landmarks but the National Sanctuary, like others, is very interesting. Don't need to stay very long and don't forget to buy a souvenir in the official store for a catholic friend.
Written August 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

fijomo
Düsseldorf, Germany285 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2016 • Couples
This cathedral plays an important role in the history of Brazil, because Brazil is (still) the biggest Catholic community on earth. Since three fishermen found the small statue of "Nossa Senhora da Aparecida" in 1717, the village developed into a big Center of pilgrimage. Today 8 million people visit the sanctuary every year.
The new cathedral is the second largest Catholic Church on earth and was officially inaugurated 1980 by Pope John Paul II.
Everything is organised perfectly -
From the huge parking lots, over the information points, the queuing
in front of the statue of Our Lady up to the several other chapels, where you can either pray, give your promises or light your candle. Fortunately we had no queue, and the situation there was impressive. The light inside the cathedral is beautiful, cause of the big colourful glass windows.
Even Non Catholics will be impressed.
Written November 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SAM M
Monterey, CA33 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Friends
It is a huge cathedral and an amazing complex. The main church is reached by a footbridge which may prove challenging for the elderly, mainly returning from the Basilica to the city for the footbridge has a slight upward tilt in that direction. Some people cross it on their knees to thank for miracles achieved. The city of Aparecida sits in a valley and the weather can get really warm so be advised.
Written July 5, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EmilyB569
Oronoco, MN206 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2013 • Couples
The basilica is quite impressive from the moment you enter town. The architecture is simple, yet beautiful. The stained glass windows and mosaics are lovely. It is a peaceful place to spend some time. We went on a weekday morning, so it wasn't busy. The area is otherwise very commercialized. Never before have I seen a place where you can go to church, grab lunch and buy a new car stereo all in one place. Check out the basicilica, but you can skip the mall.
Written May 30, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Murilo Rocha
Curitiba, PR128 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2018 • Family
This is hands-down the most mind-blowingly huge church I've ever seen. It seems big on the pictures but you have no idea how freaking immense it is until you're there. When I went to Aparecida for the first time, I entered the city by bus at more or less 3 A.M. and the whole church was illuminated, it was breathtaking. I was sleeping in a hotel with a very very very nice view of the church and you could hear the bells ringing from all the way down there at the church. The city is very small and EVERYTHING that happens on it has something to do with Our Lady of Aparecida, so this is pretty much a catholic hotspot in Brazil. There's no other reason to go there - unless maybe if you like seeing really big buildings (the church is extremely beautiful, regardless of faith or lack thereof). The church has some nice rooms for you to light candles and there's other room where people stick notes with prayers on the walls and is very beautiful to see, you can feel the people's faith there. In this room there also a lot of objects belonging to people who received a grace, for example, people who gained the ability to walk and left their wheelchair there. Very good place! Be aware though that the whole city is crowded as you wouldn't believe. Also, make sure to visit the old church, for a little bit of history (the old church is in the city center, and is a very small church, where it all begun). Also, try to get to know the story of what exactly is the devotion of Aparecida before going in, that will make your trip and the things you see much more meaningful and interesting.
Written July 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thomas and Akasha
Arcata, CA63 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Couples
An interesting complex. We hiked up the manger hill, the sanctuary is amazing I lived it. Beautiful design and use of color. The glass was my favorite. Worth the stop.
Written March 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

PortAzor
Amsterdam, The Netherlands250 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2018
Construction of the basilica began in 1955 but was not dedicated until 1980 by Pope John Paul II while it was still under construction. In addition to Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict and Pope Francis have all visited during their pontificate.
The basilica can accommodate up to 45,000 people but during special events and especially the feast of the Patroness of Brazil, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Aparecida, that number can swell to 70,000 in all the various areas of the shrine. The image of Our Lady is less than 36 inches tall but the devotion to Our Lady Aparecida is phenomenal. On two separate visits, the first being a few years ago and on a weekday I experienced the difference of a nearly empty church, to during this current visit a church packed to the doors because of a special event of families of those with addictions.
In the shrine is an area of making promises for favors requested of Our Lady where candles are lighted and left behind as an extension of the prayer of the faithful. There is an elevated area at the back of the sanctuary where people walk by the image, very well protected after an incident of theft where the image was left shattered. Now repaired there is nothing left to chance of a similar incident occurring.
The entire basilica is a place of prayer with the Eucharistic Chapel especially set aside as a place of solitude and refection. In the lower part of the basilica is a cafeteria with many offerings from snacks to full meals. There are a couple of stores where all manner of reminders of your trip to the Sanctuary can be purchased.
The only place where there is a charge to visit is the museum in the tower. It's definitely worth a visit as it traces the history of the finding of the statue by three fishermen in the river.
Written August 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gene H
Chattanooga, TN22 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2018 • Friends
As an American catholic that was in Brazil for work I am so glad that that my colleague suggested to travel to this site. I had been to the Sao Paulo area many times but had not heard of this National Sanctuary before and as such did not know what to expect. It just happened to be Good Friday when we traveled there. I was worried it might be crowded, as we saw people walking besides the highway making their pilgrimage to the site, but it was not super crowded.

The church is distinctly different than the old cathedrals of Europe. It pulls the Basilica style together with a more modern and restrained style rather than the ornate style. It is still impressive due to its shear size and its ability to allow so many to see the mass from all four directions. If the crowd is really large (such as when the pope was there) it has a large plaza that takes inspiration from St. Peters.

One thing we did not do is get a tour of the site and as such we did not know the whole story of the site until I returned and read up on the site on the internet. It would have been nice to know a few of the highlights of the history. In not knowing the history I did not actually get to see the shrine to the statue that was found by the fishermen. I recommend that one should make that part of their tour.

I also went into the town and seen the old basilica that was home to the shrine prior to building the new church. Getting there and walking around the town is quite the experience for an American. So many vendors selling all the same souvenirs and trinkets. Besides all of the stores in the city there is a street full of more vendors under tents.
Written March 31, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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