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Monastery of Alcobaça

The Monastery of Alcobaça is situated in the town of Alcobaça, about 96 km north from Lisbon. The monastery was the first wholly Gothic building in Portugal. The Monastery of Alcobaça was founded by Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king. It was built in the period 1178-1223. Once built, the king gave the monastery to Bernardus of Clairvaux, the founder of more than 70 Cistercian monasteries. During the reign of King Manuel I, a new sacristy was built in the Portuguese Manueline style. The Monastery of Alcobaça was enlarged in the 18th century. The Church of the Monastery of Alcobaça is the largest built church in Portugal in the Middle Ages. The Flamboyant-Gothic sculpted tombs of King Pedro I and his beloved Inês de Castro in the transept of the monastery church are the most wonderful medieval tombs in Portugal. The Sala dos Reis, the Kings Room, is the decorated with blue ceramic tiles. The large kitchen is fully tiled, the impressive kitchen chimney is supported by eight wrought iron columns. The water basin in the kitchen contained water brought by a system of canals. In 1834, with the dissolution of the monastic life in Portugal, the monks were ordered to leave the monastery. Nowadays, the monastery is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and an important historic destination in Portugal. The Monastery of Alcobaça gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1989.

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Monastery of Alcobaça - The façade of the Monastery of Alcobaça. The Monastery of Alcobaça was founded by Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese...

The façade of the Monastery of Alcobaça. The Monastery of Alcobaça was founded by Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king. It was built in 1178-1223 and was the first Gothic building in Portugal. In later years, the monastery was continuously modified and expanded. Once built, the king gave the Monastery of Alcobaça to Bernardus of Clairvaux, a French Cistercian abbot. The monastery church houses the most wonderful medieval tombs in Portugal.

  1. Monastery of Alcobaça - The façade of the Monastery of Alcobaça. The Monastery of Alcobaça was founded by Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese...

    The façade of the Monastery of Alcobaça. The Monastery of Alcobaça was founded by Afonso Henriques, the first Portuguese king. It was built in 1178-1223 and was the first Gothic building in Portugal. In later years, the monastery was continuously modified and expanded. Once built, the king gave the Monastery of Alcobaça to Bernardus of Clairvaux, a French Cistercian abbot. The monastery church houses the most wonderful medieval tombs in Portugal.

  2. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The immense central nave of the monastery church. The church of the Monastery of Alcobaça is the...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The immense central nave of the monastery church. The church of the Monastery of Alcobaça is the largest built Early Gothic church in Portugal in the Middle Ages. The central nave is twenty metres high and gives the church an enormous gracefulness, it is the largest built nave in Portugal in the Middle Ages. The heights of the naves is also twenty metres. The Monastery of Alcobaça was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1989.

  3. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The tomb of King Pedro I is supported by sculpted lions. The tombs of King Pedro I and the Galician noblewoman...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The tomb of King Pedro I is supported by sculpted lions. The tombs of King Pedro I and the Galician noblewoman Inês de Castro are situated in the transept of the monastery church. The tombs are decorated with sculptures showing scenes of their lives and the story of their tragic love affair. Inês de Castro was the true love of Prince Pedro. His father King Afonso IV ordered her death.

  4. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The tomb of Inês de Castro is supported by sculptures half beast half monk. The tombs of King Pedro I of...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The tomb of Inês de Castro is supported by sculptures half beast half monk. The tombs of King Pedro I of Portugal and Inês de Castro are adorned in the Flamboyant-Gothic style. The sculptures showing scenes of the story of their tragic love affair. When Pedro became king of Portugal, he had exhumed the body of Inês from her grave, forced the entire court to swear allegiancy to their new queen and kiss the hand of the corpse of Inês de Castro.

  5. Monastery of Alcobaça - The Monastery of Alcobaça: The tombs of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro in the transept of the Church of Alcobaça are the most...

    The Monastery of Alcobaça: The tombs of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro in the transept of the Church of Alcobaça are the most wonderful medieval tombs in Portugal. The tombs are facing each other, so when the Day of Resurrection will arrive, the first face they will see, will be the face of each other. On the marble tombs is inscribed: Until the end of the world. The life of Inês de Castro is immortalized in several plays, poems and operas.

  6. Monastery of Alcobaça - The Monastery of Alcobaça: The18th century Sala dos Reis, the Room of the Kings. The walls are adorned with 18th century blue-white...

    The Monastery of Alcobaça: The18th century Sala dos Reis, the Room of the Kings. The walls are adorned with 18th century blue-white azulejos, Portuguese tile work, depicting the history of the founding of the Monastery of Alcobaça and the life of the famous Cistercian abbott Bernardus of Clairvaux. The Room of the Kings houses the statues of practically all the Kings of Portugal.

  7. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The courtyard garden is planted with orange trees. The open-arcaded cloister is one of the largest medieval...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The courtyard garden is planted with orange trees. The open-arcaded cloister is one of the largest medieval Cistercian cloisters in Europe. Later, a second floor was added to the cloister. The first architects of the Monastery of Alcobaça are unknown, the design of the monastery was based on the Clairvaux Abbey in France.

  8. Monastery of Alcobaça - The Monastery of Alcobaça: The courtyard garden, the Gothic fountain house and the Cloister of King Dinis, also named the...

    The Monastery of Alcobaça: The courtyard garden, the Gothic fountain house and the Cloister of King Dinis, also named the Cloister of Silence, Claustro do Silêncio. The courtyard garden of the monastery is planted with orange trees. During your visit, perhaps you will be rewarded with the sweet smell of orange blossom. The Monastery of Alcobaça was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989.

  9. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The lavabo is the water basin, it is richly decorated with beautiful bas-reliefs in the Renaissance style. The...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The lavabo is the water basin, it is richly decorated with beautiful bas-reliefs in the Renaissance style. The hexagonal lavabo is situated in the Gothic fountain house, here the monks washed their hands before entering the refectory, where the monks ate their meals. The lavabo is situated in the Claustro do Silêncio, the Cloister of Silence.

  10. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The cloister of King Dinis is also known as the Claustro do Silêncio, the Cloister of Silence. The...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The cloister of King Dinis is also known as the Claustro do Silêncio, the Cloister of Silence. The cloister of King Dinis is the main cloister of the monastery, it was a place for meditation and reading. The Portuguese name of  the monastery is Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça. The Monastery of Alcobaça  is one of the Seven Wonders of Portugal and one of the most important historic destinations in Portugal.

  11. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The impressive chimney of the kitchen. The kitchen is fully tiled. The enormous chimney is supported by eight...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The impressive chimney of the kitchen. The kitchen is fully tiled. The enormous chimney is supported by eight wrought iron columns. The water basin in the kitchen is an example of the ingenuity of the monks, the basin contained water brought by a system of three canals, the water came from a tributary of the River Alcôa. The channels supplied fresh running water and also fresh fish.

  12. Monastery of Alcobaça - Monastery of Alcobaça: The huge chimney in the centre of the kitchen. The interior walls of the kitchen and the chimney are...

    Monastery of Alcobaça: The huge chimney in the centre of the kitchen. The interior walls of the kitchen and the chimney are completely covered in white glazed tiles. It is said that in this large kitchen an ox could be spit-roasted. The kitchen is situated between the Monk's Room and the refectory, where the monks ate their meals. The Monastery of Alcobaça gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1989.