Mosteiro da Batalha: an imposing monument to visit in the Center of Portugal

Throughout the rich history of Portugal, there have been various constructions, dazzling architectural wonders, some of which still dazzle us with their beauty today. The Mosteiro da Batalha is one of two survivors, having managed to resist the tests of time while keeping its imposition intact.

This monument is located in the Center of Portugal and in the face of the district of Leiria. His story began at a delicate height for the Kingdom of Portugal, when D. João, Mestre de Avis, guaranteed the independence of Portugal, when the throne threatened to fall in more castelhanas, after the death of D. Fernando I.

The King of Castela claimed to be the legitimate heir to the Portuguese throne, but this claim was answered by D. João and his supporters, especially D. Nuno Álvares Pereira. This tension would lead to one of the two most glorious episodes in the History of Portugal: the battle of Aljubarrota.

Mosteiro da Batalha

The Batalha de Aljubarrota, which took place on August 14, 1385, proved to be decisive in consolidating the rise of D. João to the throne, and it is in the sequence of victory in this battle that the decision to build this monastery, named after Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória.

The mosteiro was erected about 2 km from the town of Batalha, tending to be built shortly after this historic victory. Afterwards, the place was donated to the Dominican Order, which was maintained until 1834, dating from when the religious orders were extinct, and the monument was incorporated into the Public Fazenda.

Currently, this monastery is located in the Department of the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage, and has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. I did not see this distinction by chance, because the monstrosity is an impressive and exceptional construction, being a two most representative buildings of the national Gothic.

Its construction took more than 150 years, there have been various phases of construction, which led to the fact that the structure did not have a linear architecture and had in mind a mixture of different influences.

Mosteiro da Batalha
Mosteiro da Batalha

The Gothic, of course, is well represented in different points, such as the church, or the Royal Cloister and the sacristy. The Flaming Gothic was also introduced in a later phase of the work, this style being able to be observed in more elaborate details in certain points of the columns and arches.

Another great influence was the Manueline, typical of the period of the Discoveries, which can be appreciated in the banners of the janelas, in the sink of the Royal Cloister and in the portal of Imperfeit Capes.

The monastery itself is constituted by a church, there are also two cloisters with attached dependencies (embora has already disappeared two cloisters of the XIV century). We also highlight two royal pantheons: the Capela do Fundador and the Capelas Imperfeitas.

Another great highlight of this monastery is its charming stained glass windows, dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and which were executed by the greatest specialists in this art at the time of construction.

On the outside of the mosteiro, one of two great highlights is the rut of the stone, the unmistakable mark of this magnificent monument, the equestrian statue of D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, dated 1968, and which acknowledges its decisive role in this, which was one of two most important episodes. from our country.

Therefore, there is no lack of reasons to visit this magnificent monastery, from its rich history to its impressive architectural beauty. And, in the roundnesses, there is also no lack of places to visit and discover. The place is very close to other monumental buildings, such as the Mosteiro de Alcobaça, the Convent of Christ in Tomar and the Palácio de Mafra.

Therefore, prepare your trip to the mosteiro and let yourself immerse yourself in a trip to a splendid past. Visiting this place is paying homage to all those who have contributed to the construction of Portugal as a nation, something that should not be ignored or neglected.