Pedro and Ines compose Portuguese Romeo and Juliet story. The legend is specially remembered in Coimbra, where they lived their love, and in Alcobaça, their burial place, whose details I explain in another tip.
Commemorating 500 years since her death, great festivities took place in both places. A perfect replica of her tomb was used in a funerary parade to the monastery, but the most relevant detail is the position of both tombs - go have a look and you will understand why.
Favorite thing: Have always been impressed by two features that are outstanding in many religious structures, first of all the totally high and arched ceilings. Secondly the magnificent work done on the windows, no matter if they are plain glass or stained glass, what the depict, or even if it is "only" the frame holding the window.
Favorite thing: Sala dos Reis (King's Room), from the 18th century, has lining and covering its walls numerous statues depicting the kings of Portugal and also murals (made from blue tiles) showing scenes from the history and founding of the abbey.
It is named after the reigning king of the time, the King Dom Dinis, the first Portuguese king who could read, an enlightened monarch who probably deserved the honor of having a monumental cloister with his name.
Please note that it said "the first Portugese king who could read"...back in 1300 or so. And here I always thought that the upper classes could all read, not necessarily "educated" in our sense of the word today, but at least they could read and were "informed".
The last photo shows a lavabo, now I had to go look that up and there is a complete and in detail explanation here:
But in short it means "a place to wash your hands". So why not call it a sink??
Fondest memory: http://portugal-discovery.com/2011/03/cloister-of-silence-dom-dinis-alcobaca-monastery/
The Tomb of Ines de Castro and King Pedro here in Alcobaca have an interesting story behind it about these two lovers. Read the story and learn what it means to be royalty. Today all they have is a memory in the minds of the Portugese people and these pretty tombs. Although admittedly the tombs are beautifully carved.
An exception to be found here are the explanation plaques in English.
Fondest memory: Ines and her beau, Pedro have an interesting story, take a look.
Favorite thing: Interestingly enough, the entrance to Alcobaca, has a VERY fancy and intricate sculpted entrance area and porticio, but the continuation of the building along the two sides are very simple, almost undecorated in any way. A coat of whitewash is all. It actually does make the entrance area stand OUT all the more.
* Tourism Office
Praça 25 de Abril
- Tel.: (+351) 26 258 23 77
- www.cm-alcobaca.pt (City Hall)
- E. mail: email@example.com (City Hall)
In the Transept of the Church are located the TOMBS OF KING PEDRO I ( 1320 - 1367 ) and his mistress Ines de Castro.
This pair of royal tombs are among the best works of Gothic sculpture in Portugal. The Tomb of the King is supported by Lions and the Tomb of Ines is supported by half-Monk / half-beast. Both carry the recumbent figures of the deceased assisted by Angels. The sides of Pedro's tomb are magnificently decorated with reliefs showing scenes from Pedro and Ines' life. Her Tomb is decorated with scenes from the life of Christ.
The Tombs are facing each other so that on Judgement Day their first sight will be of each other .
In the Transept of the Church are located the Tombs of King Pedro I and his mistress Ines De Castro.
Ines de Castro was the lady-in-waiting to Dom Pedro's wife Constanza of Castille. Ines was the daughter of a Castilian aristocrat. Pedro fell madly in love with Ines and took her as his mistress. After Constanza died in 1349, Pedro refused to remarry and continued to be devoted to Ines, with whom he had several children.
Pedro recognized all his children with Inês and favoured the Castilians at court. Pedro's father, King Afonso IV, regarded her as a threat to his kingdom, so in 1355, the king had her murdered. Two years later, Afonso IV died and Pedro became king. King Pedro I immediately declared that he had married Inês in a secret ceremony in Bragança, making her the rightful queen. According to legend, the bereaved king then took his gruesome revenge - he exhumed Inês' body, presented the corpse at court and ordered all his court to pay homage to her decomposed hand. Ewwwww!
The beautiful Gothic CLOISTERS OF SILENCE were built during the reign of King Dinis I in the late 13th century. The Fountain Hall in the cloisters contain an elegant early Renaissance Fountain.
The Chapter House. connected to the Cloister by a Romanesque -style portal, is filled with Barocque statues created by the Monks. While we were visiting the Chapter House, we were treated to a performance of a wonderful male singer who had a very high soprano voice.
We also explored the Monk's Dormitory.
Favorite thing: I really loved the RENAISSANCE WATER FOUNTAIN with its own Gothic Fountain house. It was in the Cloister area of the Monastery. It was so bright, airy, cool and refreshing. I loved the sound of the water trickling down into the basin.
The West FACADE OF THE MONASTERY is Cistercian Gothic style with Barocque embellishments. The Portal and Rose Window are part of the original Gothic Church. The Statues and two flanking towers were added in the beginning of the 18th century.
The long Wings attached on both sides are Barocque additions (picture # 1).
The INTERIOR OF THE MONASTERY is an exquisite example of Cistercian Gothic architecture. In accordance with Cistercian principles, decoration is minimal to allow maximum appreciation of the soaring vertical lines. The side isles are as tall as the central nave - 20 metres. The Apse is flooded with light from large Gothic windows.
What surprised me, was the simplicity of the Altar pictured here.
ALCOBACA MONASTERY or MOSTEIRO DE SANTA MARIA DE ALCOBACA was founded by the first Portuguese King Afonso in1153. The church and monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal.
The importance of the Monastery is the fact that many Royals were buried here in the 13th and 14th centuries. King Afonso II, Afonso III and their Queens Urraca of Castile and Beatrice of Castile, are buried here, as well as King Pedro I and his lady love Ines de Castro, who was murdered on the orders of Pedro's father King Afonso IV. After being crowned King, Pedro had built two magnificent Gothic tombs for him and Ines, both of which can be seen in the transept of the Monastery.
Due to its artistic and historical importance, it was listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1989.
The ROYAL PANTHEON of the Alcobaca Monastery, contains the 13th century tombs of the Queens of Portugal, including Urraca of Castile and Beatrix of Castile, married respectively to Kings Afonso II and Afonso III.
The most remarkable tomb (pictured here) is that of Queen Urraca, who died in 1220 and is buried in a richly decorated late Romanesque tomb. A relief showing the Queen is seen over the tomb. The sides are decorated with the twelve apostles.