Projects and Activities of the Shrines of Europe

2019: Working meeting of the Shrines of Europe cities in Altötting, Bavaria

From January 27 to 29, representatives of all the seven Shrines of Europe cities met for a working meeting in Altötting, the Bavarian National Shrine. Among the topics of the technical working meeting were above all discussions about a triennial budget and thorough debates about concrete marketing measures to be taken in the following month.

Besides the intensive working meeting there was enough time for a visit to the Chapel of Grace, which is located in the middle of the baroque Chapel Square, where the delegates were impressed by the history and traditions of the more than 500 years of pilgrimage history in Altötting.

Delegations of the Shrines of Europe in the city hall of Altoetting
2018 - Working meeting of the Shrines of Europe in Mariazell, Austria

From October 18th to 22nd, the Shrines of Europe cities held their yearly working meeting in the Austrian pilgrimage town Mariazell.

The Mayors of Altötting, Einsiedeln, Fatima, Lourdes, Loreto and Mariazell discussed together with the tourism tecnicians about important next steps in the further development of the network. The delegation of Czestochowa could not participate in the meeting due to local elections. An important study conducted by the university of Aveiro near Fatima served as a ground for discussions about the future development and the intensification of the joint work.



On the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima (1917-2017), the International Congress on Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage was organized jointly by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Ministry of Economy of Portugal and the Municipality of Ourém.

The Congress reflected on the potential and the role of religious tourism and sacred places as a tool for socio-economic and cultural development of destinations. Knowing the motivations that lead millions of peoples to travel to sacred places is an essential condition for the sustainable development of destinations.

Shrines of Europe Partners participated in the congress.


Einsiedeln - the most important place of Pilgrimage in Switzerland in Veneration of the Virgin Mary became a member of the Shrines of Europe network.

During a festive celebration in the Monastery of Einsiedeln, Franz Pirker, representative of the District of Einsiedeln received the official welcome certificate, signed by all the Mayors of the Shrines of Europe partners.

The festivites were followed by a working meeting of all the cities Mayors and municipal representatives, agreeing on further joint marketing acitivies.


The Treasury and Pilgrimage Museum in Altoetting houses precious objects representing more than 500 years of pilgrimage history in Altoetting. Among the precious objects is also a golden wall dedicated to the Shrines of Europe. A copy of each of the Shrines Madonna represents this valuable working group. On the occasion of the reception of the new member Einsiedeln, a copy of the Madonna of Einsiedeln was installed in the museum by Mayor Herbert Hofauer and the Rector of the Shrine Prelate Mandl in November 2017.

September 2016


The working group Shrines of Europe gathers in Czestochowa and celebrates the 20th anniversary of the association Shrines of Europe.
The Shrines of Europe were founded in 1996.