Favorite thing: Sentinels and the glow of an eternal flame guard the two tombs of Portugal's Unknown Soldiers from World War I. In one part of the quadrangle is the Unknown Soldiers Museum, which houses gifts to the fallen warriors from the people of Portugal and other countries. Beyond the crypt are the remains of the old wine cellars.
Favorite thing: In the Founder's Chapel, João I and his English queen, Philippa of Lancaster (daughter of John of Gaunt), lie in peaceful repose, their hands entwined on their stone effigies beneath an exquisite octagonal lantern. Prince Henry the Navigator's tomb is near that of his parents. His fame eclipsed theirs even though he never sat on the throne.
Favorite thing: The western porch, ornamented by a tangled mass of Gothic sculpture of saints and other figures, sits beneath a stained-glass window of blue, mauve, and amber. The windows are of exceptional beauty and are best enjoyed on a sunny day. As windows were damaged over the centuries, various artisans have replaced them in their original 16th-century Manueline detail.
Favorite thing: In 1385, João I vowed on the plains of Aljubarrota that if his underequipped and outnumbered army defeated the invading Castilians, he would commemorate his spiritual indebtedness to the Virgin Mary. The result is the magnificent Monastery of the Virgin Mary, designed in splendid Gothic and Manueline style.
Favorite thing: You will find this to be a welcome break from the heat of the summer. Take a gentle walk down the halls and through the church and you will be transported back in time to the early days of the monastery when monks and royality walked the halls.
Favorite thing: Our first sight of it was from the road driving by and we immediately knew we were in Batalha. I love the vast space that surrounds the cathedral. Often, a cathedral is crowded into a busy corner of a city and it's hard to get a great view of it unless you own your own helicopter! With Bathala's church (which is actually known as the Battle Abbey, or Mosteiro da Batalha), you can walk all around the structure from enough of a distance that you can really appreciate the whole thing in one look before stepping closer to savor the details.
Favorite thing: Marrying Gothic style with Manueline is a dream for me. I have always loved the ornamentation of High Gothic architecture and when it's combined with the flamboyance of Manueline, it is really impressive. The abbey is loaded with incredible carvings, gargoyles, pinnacles, statues, tombs, windows, pillars and flying buttresses. This photo shows some of the detail in the Royal Cloisters.
Favorite thing: It's classified in UNESCO's International Heritage list. Was built in 14th-16th centuries to commemorate the battle in 1385. King John I promised to Virgin Mary to dedicate a temple to Her if he overcame the invader in this battle, decisive for consolidating the independence of Portugal and bringing the new dynasty of Avis to the throne.
* Tourism Office
Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque
- Tel.: (+351) 24 476 51 80
- E. mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Favorite thing: Something we always should to check before a visit: The Weatherpage
In this Chapel are the TOMBS of King Afonso V ( 1432 - 1481) and his wife Queen Isable ( 1432 - 1455)
King Joao II ( 2455 - 1495 ) and his son
Prince Afonso ( 1475 - 1491 )
Favorite thing: The magnum opus of the monastery is the Chapter House, a square chamber whose vaulting is an unparalleled example of the Gothic style, bare of supporting pillars.
Favorite thing: The Royal Cloisters reveal the beginnings of the nautically oriented Manueline architecture. Fantastic details.