Discovery tour Alcobaça & Batalha

Alcobaça, Portugal & UNESCO-World Heritage Site Mosteiro de Alcobaça, UNESCO-World Heritage Site Mosteiro da Batalha


Alcobaça is a city in Portugal. It belongs to the historic province of Estremadura (Região Centro).

Although about 10 km away from the Atlantic Ocean, the Alcoa River flows through the city only a few meters above sea level. In the early Middle Ages, the sea reached as a lagoon from Pederneira to the gates of Alcobaça.

Alcobaça is the seat of the district of the same name (Município de Alcobaça), which stretches between the Atlantic and the Serra de Candeeiros mountains.

This area, together with the surrounding district of Nazaré and parts of the southern bordering district of Caldas da Rainha, corresponds to the historic gift of the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, to the Cistercian abbot Bernhard von Clairvaux in 1153. From which the Royal Abbey of Alcobaça with the Coutos de Alcobaça emerged.

Alcobaça received modern city rights (as a Cidade) in 1995. The old town is characterized by the monastery (Mosteiro de Alcobaça), which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1989, and a castle.

In the years 2004-2007 it was completely redesigned as a restricted-traffic zone, with the monastery forecourt also being redesigned according to historical templates. On the road to Aljubarrota is the National Wine Museum (1968).

A beautiful city in central Portugal. The old town and monastery are impressive.

Alcobaça - Photos


○ Museu do Vinho (Museum)

○ Castelo de Alcobaça (Castle ruin)

○ Parque dos Monges (park)

○ Mosteiro de Alcobaça

(Monastery / UNESCO-World Heritage Site)

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça - The former Cistercian monastery O Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça (Holy Mary of Alcobaça), or A Real Abadia de Alcobaça (Royal Abbey of Alcobaça) has been a World Heritage Site since 1989. It is one of the largest monasteries in Portugal and still has the largest church in the country. It is located in the city of the same name, Alcobaça, in the historical province of Estremadura.

For many centuries the abbey was considered the spiritual center of the country and its abbot was one of the king's most important advisers. It was donated in 1153 by the first Portuguese king, Afonso I Henriques.

According to legend, Afonso Henriques vowed to donate Mary, the Mother of God, a convent for her. If he succeeded in taking her important fortress of Santarém in his struggle for liberation from the Moors (Reconquista).

He succeeded in doing this in 1147, so that in order to fulfill his promise, he gave the area of ​​Alcobaça to the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, which actually took place in a document in 1153. This story is retold on blue wall tiles (azulejos) from the 18th century in the king's hall of the monastery. In 1178, 25 years after the foundation, the construction of the monastery by the Cistercians began and one of the richest and most powerful monasteries of this order was created.

The monastery, abandoned by the monks in 1833, is now one of Portugal's most attractive historical sites, with over 250,000 visitors a year.

Mosteiro da Batalha

(Monastery / Distance to Alcobaça 18.0 km / UNESCO-World Heritage Site)

The Monastery of Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória (Convent of Saint Mary of Victories) also called Mosteiro da Batalha (Monastery of Batalha) is a Dominican monastery in the Portuguese city of Batalha.

After Portugal's victory over the Kingdom of Castile in the Battle of Aljubarrota on August 14, 1385, it was built on the basis of a vow of gratitude. The construction period of around 150 years stretched from the 14th to the 16th century. The Portuguese kings from the period between 1385 and 1495 have their burial place in the Batalha Monastery. 

According to tradition, before the battle of August 14, 1385, João I (John I) had promised to build a monastery to the Virgin Mary if she would assist the Portuguese army in the fight against the numerically superior Castilian army. The transfer of the monastery to the Dominican order is documented for 1388. It was probably built under the exclusive stipulations and funding of the royal family, which explains the architecture, which is extremely demanding for a mendicant church. The monastery is to be understood as a demonstration of the royal dynasty Avis newly founded by João I. An equestrian statue of the victorious commander Nuno Álvares Pereira stands in front of the monastery.

In 1983 the facility was added to the UNESCO list as a World Heritage Site.

Our rating

Travel at any time of the year, city trips, stays of several days. It is worth a travel stay, not only because of the monastery but the whole city is charming.


Our star rating

Winkler & Cabral & Project Globetrotter are the old labels of the photos, from the beginning of 2024 they will only be labeled "J.Winkler - Art my way".

More about the author 
J. Winkler - Published titles and biography


Rating: 5 stars
1 vote

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