Fatima & Spain pilgrimage tentative itinerary
Please browse the Tentative itinerary for Fatima & Spain pilgrimage.
Dulles Airport to Madrid, via United Airlines
EL ESCORIAL AND AVILA
After our bus pick-up at the airport we stop at El Escorial, the 16th century palaceof the Spanish kings built by Philip II. Nearby is the huge Holy Cross of the Valley of the Fallen with a basilica, carved into the rock beneath the Cross. We continue on to Avila and CITeS the Carmelite University and retreat center, where we willattend Mass and stay for the next six nights.
Our full day tour of Avila includes Mass at the Convent of La Santa, built on the site of the birthplace of St. Teresa, and a tour of the museum dedicated to her life and St. John of the Cross. At the Convent of the Encarnacion, where St. Teresa lived for 27 years after becoming a Carmelite at age 19 in 1534, wrote and had many of her mystical experiences, we will visit her monastic cell. We also will visit the Romanesque and Gothic style Cathedral of San Salvador, which dates from the 12th century and contains many relics of St. Teresa. The city of Avila itself is a world heritage site and considered the best-preserved medieval city in Europe with its superb 11th century walls that surround the city.
We bus to Segovia stopping first at La Fuencisla for a lecture and tour. In the afternoon we will tour this historic city, noted for its many Romanesque churches, stopping to visit the unique 12-sided exterior Church of Vera Cruz, built by the Knights Templar early in the 13th century to house a fragment of the true cross and modeled after the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Nearby is the Priory of the Padres Carmelitas Descalzos and tomb of St. John of the Cross. St. John used to pray along the cliffs of this spectacularly situated city. The Cathedral of Segovia is the last Gothic cathedral built in Spain and contains many treasures. Our tour continues at the fairy-tale like Segovia Alcazar fortress that towers over the city and the impressive 1st century Roman Aqueduct, in use until the 19th century.
We bus to Salamanca, the home of Spain’s oldest University, where St. John of
the Cross studied, to visit the old (12th century Romanesque) and new (16th to 18th centuries) cathedrals and the Plaza Mayor, one of Spain’s finest. In Alba de Tormes we will attend Mass and tour the convent founded by St. Teresa where her remains are now venerated.
After Mass, the secular Carmelites will have the opportunity to explore Avila on their own.
FONTIVEROS, AREVALO AND MEDINA DEL CAMPO
We bus to Fontiveros, the birthplace of St. John of the Cross, where we will visit the Carmel Convent and the Church of San Cipriano where he was baptized. Then it is on to Arevalo and Medina del Campo, the two towns where he spent his youth before becoming a Carmelite. In Medina del Campo we will visit the Carmelite Monastery and attend Mass. Upon our return, we will spend out last night in Avila.
We leave Avila for Madrid where we will spend the next four nights. We begin
with a guided tour of the vast and lavish Palacio Real (Royal Palace) and the nearby Almudena Cathedral. Pilgrims can stroll during free time around Old Madrid to see the royal Hapsburg monasteries (Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales and Monasterio de la Encarnacion) and the beautiful 17th century square, Plaza Mayor.
We take a guided tour of Prado Museum, one of the great art museums of Europe, containing Spanish (Velazquez, Goya and El Greco), Flemish (Rubens and Van der Weyden), Italian (Titian, Tintoretto, Fra Angelico and Caravaggio) and German (Durer)
collections and pilgrims will have the opportunity on their own for sightseeing in Bourbon Madrid , including the city gateway Puerta de Alcala and the beautiful square Plaza de Cibeles.
We bus to Toledo to visit the magnificent Gothic Cathedral which contains a spectacular baroque high altar and two El Grecos, the Church of Santo Tome which houses El Greco’s 1586 masterpiece The Burial of the Count of Orgaz and tour of Old Town Toledo. There will be opportunities for shopping in this city famous for its gold.
Mass and free time for pilgrims in explore Madrid on their own.
Madrid Airport to Dulles.