Three small details make these two pictures in Batalha a little bit different. Will you find them ?
Fondest memory: Solution:
1 - At left the monastery was absolutely secondary. At right it gets all the attention
2 - Left, the bride waits for her husband to take the picture. Right, she is somewhere home, waiting for her husband to post this tip.
3 - Left, the stone evidences its 600 years in place. Right, 27 years of pollution have been added.
I have spoken to many friends about visiting tourist sites and taking photos. Most often when we ask one another "Did you see.....?", you find that there were details that missed your eye. This is a direct result of the sensory overload that some of the OVERLY detailed places provide, you just cannot take it all in at one visit.
These photos are a few of the details that we DID see.
Favorite thing: The architecture of religious structures is meant to awe and overwhelm and here Batalha does a good job of that also. A friend of mine, who also happens to be a christian priest, once told me the reason when I asked him "why does it need to be so BIG?". His answer was that making the churches so high would draw your view upwards toward heaven....well sounds like a logical answer.
Favorite thing: One of the things that attract me as a tourist and photographer to many religious structures is the detail and beauty of the windows, stained glass or not. Batalha was no different, not only the major stained glass window, which is from the 1500's, but also the frames and added details surrounding the windows.
Batalha was a surprise for us, we really, for some reason, loved this monastary. And this after we had seen dozens here in Portugal.
I have attached a few internet sites that we used for information/history and they also have some professional photos much better than mine.
Fondest memory: http://www.sacred-destinations.com/portugal/batalha-monastery
The monastery was built to celebrate a great victory against the Spanish, that saved our independence.
The hero was Nuno Alvares Pereira, that later, distributed by the poor all his great fortune and became a monk. He was, recently proclaimed saint by the Pope, under the name of Nuno de Santa Maria.
In Batalha he is still remembered by his military role.
Favorite thing: Situated in the northwestern corner of Claustro Real, the LAVABO, the work of Mateus Fernando, is a thing of beauty and harmony and also another one of my favourite parts of the Monastery. It consists of a fountain and two smaller basins above. This finely sculpted Lavabo was used for ritual washing.
Strangely enough, I think my most favourite part of my visit to Batalha Monestery, is the fascinating UNFINISHED CHAPELS or CAPELAS IMPERFEITAS.
The Chapel was originally meant to house the tombs of the family of King Duarte and his heirs. But he and his Queen Leonor of Aragon are the only ones buried here.
The Chapel is only accessible from the outside. A magnificent Gothic doorway almost 15 metres (50 feet) high with Manueline decoration, accesses the roofless Unfinished Chapel.
Open to the sky, Seven Chapels branch from an octagonal rotunda, divided from each other by carved incomplete pillars, which are decorated in Manueline style and carved in stone. The massive buttresses were designed to support an unfinished dome.
I guess, I was just amazed at the wonderful detail here, especially the Manueline style of decoration and the intriguing story behind why it wasn't finished. It seems construction was abandoned when workers were taken to Lisbon to build Jeronimos Monastery.
The ROYAL CLOISTERS were first built in Gothic style in the late 1380's, but Manueline embellishments were added a century later. Typical Manueline symbols such as flowers of newly discovered lands and seafaring motifs are carved in every arch.
Plaque in the Cloister area reads:
King Joao I Cloister or Claustro de D, Joao I
"The construction was begun in 1386, following the original plan of Afonso Dominiques. It was concluded in 1515, in the Manueline style by Mateus Fernandes
In the FOUNDER'S CHAPEL or CAPELA DO FUNDAFOR, are the tombs of King Joao, his Queen, Philippa of Lancaster and of their younger sons, including their more famous, yet never crowned son, Prince Henry the Navigator. The carved figure of Joao lies peacefully with his hands held.
Above, is the amazing Star Vault of the Founder's Chapel (circa 1434).
Also, in the vast Gothic Interior are exceptionally beautiful stained glass windows.
The Chapel was Built between 1426 and 1434.
This Gothic masterpiece MONASTERY OF SANTA MARIA DA VITORIA or Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitoria, is a UNESCO World Heritage monument.
Building began in 1388, after King Joao I made a vow to the Virgin Mary that he would build a magnificent monastery, if she granted him a victory over the Castillians in the Battle of Aljubarrota. Of course, they were victorious as the Monastery was built.
The exterior of the Monastery has innumerable Pinnacles, buttresses and balustrades above Gothic windows. The front Portal is decorated with statues of the twelve apostles in intricate and wonderful Gothic style.
The Monastery took two centuries to build - 1388 - 1517 - during the reign of seven Kings. Construction required an enormous effort, using huge resources of men and materials. New techniques and artisitic styles were used - Rayonnant Gothic - Flamboyant Gothic - English Perpendicular - Manueline style.
Admission is free on Sundays and Holidays until 2:00 p.m.
Free for children up to the age of 14
Closed on January 1, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, May1 and Christmas Day
Favorite thing: An EQUESTRIAN STATUE of Nuno Alvares Perreira, the King's commander at the Battle of Aljubarrota, stands before the southern facade of the monastery. It's the first thing we saw when we began our approach to the magnificent monastery.
Favorite thing: "Monastery of Batalha" was added to Unesco's World Heritage List in 1983. National Gothic style was formed, profoundly influenced by Manueline art, as the masterpiece, the Royal Cloister and the towers, demonstrates.
Favorite thing: The church in the shape of a Latin Cross, three navesands at the head of the nave, four side chapels stand on either sides of the high-altar. The master craftsman Huguet was responsible for the construction of the vaults, the Founder’s Chapel, the King Duarte’s Pantheon (Unfinished Chapels), and he also left the mark of flamboyant gothic's decoration.
Favorite thing: Stunning filigree designs ornament the coral-stone entrance to the seven unfinished chapels. The capelas, under a "sky ceiling," are part of one of the finest examples of the Manueline style, a true stone extravaganza. Construction was abandoned so workers for Manuel I could help build his monastery at Belem.