Visit to Batalha Monastery, Portugal
Batalha Monastery is an incomplete monastery, yet in its incomplete state the monastery is incredible! The history associated with this monastery and the sculpted carvings are outstanding. Batalha Monastery is a symbol of victory!
History of Batalha Monastery
This monastery was built by King Joao in 1385. In the battle of Alijubarrota, where his defeat seemed imminent by Castilians, his prayers to Virgin Mary sailed him through victoriously. This victory is important in the history of Portugal as it resulted in independence of Portugal from Spain. The construction went on for 2 centuries (1388 to 1533) by 15 architects and under the reign of several kings. It is a mix of 2 architectural styles: Gothic and Manueline. Yet, the dream monastery couldn’t be completed. The workers were called away to build Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon.
Must See Sights in Batalha Monastery
The arch over the door is decorated with statues of twelve apostles. The stained glass window here is the largest in Portuguese Gothic architecture.
There are a series of tombs in the Founder’s Chapel to the right of entrance. It contains the tombs of King Joao I and his Queen Phillipa, their stone effigies depict entwined hands. Their son Prince Henry’s tomb is nearby.
There is one more couple tomb, that of D. Duarte and his wife Leonor, laying hand in hand in one of the chapels in the monastery. Interesting to note how they depict relations in death!
The Square Chapter house in the Royal Cloister is a beautiful place to walk through. It is the lace like work in limestone that holds your attention. They seem like snowflakes, only difference that they are of stone and large in size. This part of the tour takes up much of your time, and chances are you will want to linger on, not wanting to come out.
There are several names associated with this grand architecture; some of them rest in peace here. At the end mind gets loaded with too many names. There is a Change of Guard event inside the monastery, which we missed unfortunately.
The equestrian statue of Nuno Alvares was unveiled in 1968. He fought with King Joao I in the battle of Aljubarrota.
Individual Tickets 6 euros.
Family Ticket, Student Card and visitors aged 65 and above 50%
Free entry on Sunday 9AM to 2 PM.
Closed on 1st Jan, Easter, 1st May and 25th December.
Location of Batalha Monastery
The distance from Alcobaca Monastery is 22kms. Drive from Lisbon (122kms) can take one and half hours.