Portugal Travels

A day in Alcobaça’s Monastery

Alcobaça is a city in the centre of Portugal. There we can visit one of the most famous monasteries of Portugal: the Alcobaça Monastery!

This is a Roman Catholic Church and its foundation was  in 1153.

The church and the monastery are the first gothic buildings  in Portugal. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1989!

The church is a Latin-cross building with pronounced transeptarms and three aisles. 

This monastery was a gift from the first portuguese King, Dom Afonso Henriques to commemorate his victory over the Moors in 1147.

For the monarchy, this monastery was one of the most important ones! Many monarchs like Kings Afonso II, Afonso III and Pedro I are buried here since the 13th and 14th century.

The most famous tombs are definitely of the King Pedro I and of his mistress, Inês de Castro. If you want to know more about their love story, please read our blog post: “The most famous and tragic love story of Portugal”.

Their tombs are in the transept of the church and are among the most beautiful works of gothic sculpture in Portugal.

Lions support the tomb of King Pedro I’s. Its sides are decorated with  scenes from Saint Bartholomew’s life, as well as scenes from Pedro and Ines’ life.

Half-men half-beasts support the tomb of Inês de Castro’s.  Its sides are decorated with scenes from the life of Christ, including the Crucifixion and  the Last Judgement.

One of the most beautiful places in the monastery is the Cloister of Silence. It was built during the reign of King Dinis I and it is one of the largest medieval cloisters in Europe.

Another beautiful place is the Room of Kings. It is right on the entrance of the church and has 17th-18th century sculptures of the some Kings of Portugal! The walls have blue-white 18th century tiles that tell the history of the Monastery of Alcobaça.

We really loved visiting this Monastery and recommend to everyone who is visiting Portugal!

Do you like to visit monasteries?

Tell us everything in the comments!