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Monastery of Alcobaça

Alcobaça, Portugal

Kloster Alcobaça, also known as the Alcobaça Monastery, is a stunning historical site located in the charming town of Alcobaça, Portugal. This magnificent monastery was built in the 12th century and has since become a symbol of the country's rich cultural heritage.

The construction of Kloster Alcobaça was commissioned by Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, as a tribute to the monks who helped him conquer the city of Santarém from the Moors. It was originally inhabited by Cistercian monks, who followed a strict rule of simplicity and austerity.

The monastery's architecture is a perfect example of the Gothic style, with its grand proportions, intricate details, and imposing presence. The most striking feature of the Kloster Alcobaça is its impressive church, which is one of the largest in Portugal. The church's interior is adorned with stunning stained glass windows, intricate stone carvings, and beautiful frescoes, making it a must-see for art and history lovers.

Aside from the church, the monastery also boasts a beautiful cloister, with a central garden and intricate arches decorated with religious scenes. This peaceful space is the perfect spot to relax and reflect on the monastery's rich history.

Kloster Alcobaça is also home to the tombs of King Pedro I and his ill-fated lover, Inês de Castro. Their tragic love story has become a part of Portuguese folklore and adds a romantic and melancholic element to the monastery's history.

Visitors to Kloster Alcobaça can take a guided tour of the monastery, which will provide insight into its history, architecture, and religious significance. The monastery also hosts regular concerts and cultural events, making it a vibrant and dynamic destination.

In addition to its cultural and historical importance, Kloster Alcobaça is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, further solidifying its significance and beauty. So, whether you are a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply looking for a serene and picturesque destination, Kloster Alcobaça is a must-visit when in Portugal.

The Monastery of Santa Maria d'Alcobaça, north of Lisbon, was founded in the 12th century by King Alfonso I. Its size, the purity of its architectural style, the beauty of the materials and the care with which it was built make this a masterpiece of Cistercian Gothic art.

The Alcobaça Monastery or Alcobasa Monastery (Portuguese: Mosteiro de Alcobaça, Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça) is a Catholic monastic complex located in the town of Alcobaça (or Alcobasa, Portuguese pronunciation: [alkuˈβasɐ] ), in central Portugal, 120 km (75 mi) north of Lisbon and 110 km (68 mi) south of Coimbra.

The monastery was established in 1153 by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques, and would develop a close association with the Portuguese monarchy throughout its seven-century-long history. This association led to the monastery becoming the richest and most influential in Portugal by 1300, with a population of almost 1,000 monks and business interests including farming, fishing and trade. It closed in 1834, amid the dissolution of the monasteries in Portugal.

The church and monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal, and, together with the roughly older Augustinian Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, it was one of the most important mediaeval monasteries in Portugal. Due to its artistic, cultural and historical relevance, it was included in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list in 1989.