Convent of Christ22 Julho, 2018
MONASTERY OF ALCOBAÇA
The Monastery of Santa Maria d’Alcobaça, also known as Royal Abbey of Santa Maria de Alcobaça or more simply as the Monastery of Alcobaça, it is a masterpiece of Cistercian Gothic art and is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The construction began at 1178 by Cistercian monks and its foundation is due to the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, who was aware of the importance of this order, namely Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the most remarkable and influential figures in Europe in the twelfth century, grants them a "letter of couto" assigning a vast and rich territory of the lands of Alcobaça.
The construction of this monument went through several centuries of history and the architectural plan was based on characteristics of the Monastery in Clairvaux (France).
The church, 100 meters long, is the largest Gothic religious space existing in Portugal. Its plan, in the form of a Latin cross, includes an ambulatory which includes nine radiating chapels. The sharp verticality (more than twenty meters high) gives it an absolutely unique beauty.
The transept of this church hosts two unique pieces of medieval statuary, the tombs of Pedro and Inês, facing one another so that they can rediscover eachother again on the Day of Resurrection. These two tombs are considered one of the most beautiful Gothic funerary sculptures in the world.
Also noteworthy is the impressive group of medieval dependencies, in which the dining room, the bedroom and the chapter room as well as the cloister of King Dinis, the amazing kitchen and the living room of kings stands out.
The Monastery of Alcobaça was elected one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal.