Located just under 2 hours north of Lisbon are two of Portugal’s magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the Monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha.
The Monastery of Alcobaça is the largest church in Portugal and one of the most impressive examples of Cistercian architecture in Europe. It was built between 1153-1223, around the same time as Portugal’s founding as a nation. The monastery was built by the country’s first king, D. Afonso Henrique, to commemorate the conquest that ended 500 years of Moorish rule. The striking interior of the Gothic structure contains five cloisters, seven dormitories, a library and a huge kitchen. Located in the monastery are the tombs of Portugal’s version of Romeo and Juliet, Prince Pedro I and his murdered mistress Inés de Castro, whose tragic love story played out in the gardens of Quinta das Lágrimas in Coimbra. Their beautifully carved tombs are placed facing one another in the transept.
About a half hour north of Alcobaça is the Monastery of Batalha, which was constructed over two centuries (1386-1533) and is a magnificent example of the Gothic and Manueline architectural styles. The monastery was built by King João I to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota. Located in the Founder’s Chapel are the tombs of the Aviz dynasty of Portuguese royals, including King João I, his English queen, Philippa of Lancaster, and their famous son, Prince Henry the Navigator, who initiated Portugal’s Age of Discoveries.
For more information on all of Portugal’s World Heritage Sites, click here.
Book a private tour! You may want to consider booking a private tour with an English-speaking guide. Your personal guide can provide you with information on the city and its historic sites. For more information on our Lisbon Day Trip that includes these sites, click here, and for information on all of our Lisbon & Lisbon Day Trip tours, click here.
Photo Credit: © Ingo Mehling. Photo of Monastery of Batalha.
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