"Batalha" Portugal Things to Do Tip by magor65
Portugal Things to Do: 760 reviews and 1,215 photos
I caught the first glimpse of Batalha abbey from the main road and immediately fell for it. The magnificent church with many butresses, pinnacles and openwork balustrades can't leave anyone indifferent . And the more you see the greater admiration it arouses.
The front portal richly decorated with finely carved figures of apostles, angels and saints is probably the most impressive Gothic portal I've ever seen.
Royal cloisters (Claustro Real) with unique Manueline decorations make the impression of stone lacework. You can see here all elements of Manueline style: astrolabia, crosses, twisted ropes and exotic plants motifs. But wait for the biggest surprise: unfinished chapels (Capelas Imperfeitas). They were meant to be a royal mausoleum but were never completed. Instead of being covered with vaulted ceiling seven chapels are open to the blue skies - free and unlimited.
Batalha abbey - the masterpiece of Gothic style, is a symbol of Portugese independence from Spain. It was built to commemorate the battle of Aljubarotta (1385), in which Joao I defeated the Castilians. Before the battle he had made a vow to build a church dedicated to Virgin Mary if she helped him to win. He kept his promise and started the construction which was later expanded by various kings for as long as 200 years. Inside we can see the tombs of king Joao I and his wife Philipa de Lancaster and their son Henry the Navigator.
Directions: 118 km nort of Lisbon
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