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Batalha

Santa Maria da Vitória Monastery

As you approach batalha the fabulous Gothic sight looming over this pretty small town will blow you away. Batalha Monastery seems too big for its location. It looks out of place against the sunny, palm fringed, limestone cobbled walkways that surround this gothic jewel. It’s a truly beautiful and complementary mix of straightforward, clean Gothic and more elaborate Manueline styles.

Batalha Monastery was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the Aljubarrota battle in 1385. Dom João had vowed to the virgin mary that he would build a superb abbey in return for victory against the 30.000 strong Castilian forces who were finished in a gorgeous  fine carved gothic style, but the additions in the 15th and 16th centuries are where the Manueline centrepiece, The royal Cloisters, Claustro Real.

In the Capela do Fundador centre is the joint tomb of João I and his English wife Philippa of Lencater whose marriage in 1387 established that special relationship that still exists between Portugal and England. The tombs along the south wall are of their four youngest sons; the second one from the right is Henry the Navigator. The Capelas Imperfeitas are the unfinished chapels ate the eastern end of the abbey. This is an octagonal mausoleum with seven chapel that were commissioned by Dom Duarte in 1437 but although later additions were made, most noticeably the Manueline additions by Mateus Fernandes that overshadows everything that’s gone before, it was never finished so it remains today open to the skies above.

Contacts

The tourist office of Batalha is placed at Praça Mouzinho de Albuquerque, 2440-121 Batalha. Tel: 351 244 765 180.
Buses stop east of the abbey in Largo 14 de Agosto and come from Alcobaça, Leiria and Fatima. There are also less frequent buses to Lisbon. There is some street parking conveniently around the abbey.

Restaurants

Estalagem Mestre Afonso Domingues
Address: Largo Mestre Afonso Domingues 6, 2440-011 BATALHA
Tel: 351 244 765 260
Fax: 351 244 765 247
www.estalagemmestreafonso.com
Restaurant with a very pleasant view to the monastery, it has a great wine list and you can taste the variety of regional dishes.
Open from 1- 3pm and from 7.30 – 10pm

Restaurant Dom Duarte

Address: Praça Dom João I 5, 2440-108 BATALHA
Tel: 351 244 766 326
Closes at 10pm

Restaurant A Aldeia
Address: Largo Mestre Afonso Domingues , 2440-102 BATALHA
Tel: 351 244 796 811
Fax: 351 244 796 392
Closes at 10pm

Vinho em Qualquer Circunstância
Address: Estrada de Fátima 15 Apartado 110, 2440-901 BATALHA
Tel: 351 244 768 777
From Mon-Fri opens from 5pm-12am,
Sat opens from 12pm to 1am and at
Sundays from 12-16pm
www.circunstancia.com.pt
It’s a space entirely dedicated to wine lovers, it offers a unique wine list and some of traditional dishes.