Batalha and Alcobaca Monasteries

July 11, 2015  •  11 Comments

We stayed for a few nights  in Ourem and took some day trips exploring Central Portugal.  Today's blog is all about two monasteries that we visited.  

20140924_Ecuador_001020140924_Ecuador_0010 The Monastery of Batalha is translated as the Monastery of the Battle.  It is a Dominican convent and was erected in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Alijubarrota.  The Monastery is one of the best and original examples of late gothic architecture.

20140924_Ecuador_000520140924_Ecuador_0005 This convent took over a century to build, starting in 1386 and ending in 1517, spanning the reign of seven kings.  After the Dominicans were expelled from the complex in 1834, the church and convent were abandoned and left to fall into ruins.  Fortunately, in 1840, King Ferdinand II of Portugal started a restoration program which lasted until the early years of the 20th century.  

20140924_Ecuador_000420140924_Ecuador_0004 The complex was declared a national monument in 1907 and in 1980 the monastery was turned into a museum which is very popular with the tourists.   The Batalha convent was added in 1983 to its list of World Heritage sites.


20140924_Ecuador_000120140924_Ecuador_0001 Guard duty.

20140924_Ecuador_000220140924_Ecuador_0002 The Royal Cloister was not part of the original project.  It was built between 1448 and 1477.



20140924_Ecuador_000820140924_Ecuador_0008 We spent quite a lot of time wandering through the gardens and interior of the convent.

20140924_Ecuador_001220140924_Ecuador_0012 There were so many different views of the buildings.  The details of the buildings were amazing.

20140924_Ecuador_001120140924_Ecuador_0011 With the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows, there were some wonderful colours inside the church.



20140924_Ecuador_001620140924_Ecuador_0016 Street photography in the town of Alcobaca.





20140924_Ecuador_000220140924_Ecuador_0002 The Alcobaca Monastery in a Mediaeval Roman Catholic monastery located in the town of Alcobaca.  The church and monastery were the first gothic buildings in Portugal and was one of the most important monasteries in Portugal.  

20140924_Ecuador_000120140924_Ecuador_0001 The monastery was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1989.  The monastery was founded in 1153 (construction started in 1178) as a gift to Bernard of Clairvaux, shortly before his death, from the first Portuguese King, Afonso Henriques.  The gift was given to commemorate Barnard's victory over the Moors at Santarem in March 1147.  Initially the monks lived in  wooden houses before moving to the new stone buildings in 1223.  


There were really interesting shapes and colours inside.

20140924_Ecuador_001920140924_Ecuador_0019 With the person in the background you can get an idea of the height of the walls.

20140924_Ecuador_002020140924_Ecuador_0020 A stairway inside.  





DORIS DIAMOND(non-registered)
Just catching up with your blog now. Wow! Your pictures keep amazing me! Love the abstract views and the cloisters and the man and dog and ...and...and.... Hard to choose my favorites! I'm going to Portugal in October - thanks for the preview of the country!
Lynn Muller(non-registered)
Wonderful shots again, Marsha! I especially liked the shot taken through the blind, and through the door to the stairs.
Tricia Matheson(non-registered)
All that beautifully carved marble! It is almost like lace. No wonder it took them 100+ years to complete the monastery of Batalha. Excellent photos, Marsha. My favourite is the one of the front view main entrance over the courtyard of the Batalha monastery.
Gretchen Taylor(non-registered) look like water colors! Love the black and white image (reflection) and the guard at his post. Fun to see these, Marsha!
Very nice, Marsha. Your photographs are beautiful.
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