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Batalha Travel Guide: 114 reviews and 456 photos

In august 14th of 1385, 6500 Portuguese (and English) defeated 31000 Spanish (and French) in Aljubarrota. To celebrate the victory, king Joao I decided to build the most precious gem of Portuguese architecture - the monastery of Batalha.

Started in 1388, the work took centuries and was never finished. But the results are superb. The first and most known architect, Afonso Domingues, planned a risky vault to the room of Capitulo, without any other support than the walls. Tradition says that he opposed the critics that said it was going to fall, by sitting under it, and there diing of starvation.

The whole place is an harmonious combination of several styles, excellent to understand the evolution of art in Portugal, during the medieval ages.

The front door

In 1402 the direction of the construction was assumed by the Flamand Huguet, who introduced several diferences in the architecture, started as portuguese gothic and finished as flamboyant gothic. It's interesting to compare the two main doors, the front one conceived by Huguet.

Southern door

Portuguese style, this door was still made by Afonso Domingues, and evidences the diferences of both styles.

  • Last visit to Batalha: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 7, 2006
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