A masterpiece in Portuguese Gothic style, the Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria, in Batalha, immortalises Portugal’s victory over Castile – one of the most decisive events for the country's independence.
Monastery of Batalha
The Monastery of Batalha was promised by King John I, Master of Aviz, to the Virgin Mary in 1385: if Portugal won the Battle of Aljubarrota against the Castilian, then a monastery would be built there.
The Monastery’s construction works took almost 200 years, in which period of time seven Kings ruled Portugal. The Master of Aviz bestowed the Monastery to the Order of Sao Domingos. The Monastery was in the possession of the Dominicans until the religious orders became extinct, in 1834, after which it became State property.
The Monastery of Batalha was seen as a sign of changes, it was different to all works until that date, and it asserted itself as a project that served to legitimise the new dynasty – the Aviz dynasty.
You can visit the following at the Monastery: The Main Gate, the Founder's Chapel, the Church, the Glass Windows, the Chapter House, and the Imperfect Chapels.
GPS 39°39'32.97"N 8°49'31.94"W
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST
The Boutaca Bridge is the only one in the country that still maintains the toll houses, which were used to charge a fee for passing by in ancient times. Located over Ribeira de Calvaria, surrounding the Monastery of Batalha, this bridge was part of the ancient Royal Road connecting Lisbon to Oporto.
King Luis had the bridge built in 1862 on top of six ogival arches interspersed with abutments.
GPS 39°39'29.21"N 8°49'51.27"W
Batalha Municipal Community Museum
This Museum is a cultural centre that combines all the research, preservation, and cultural heritage development functions. The Batalha Municipal Community Museum aims at representing the way of life of the local population by depicting the life of this place, since its geological, paleontological, and archaeological origins.
GPS 39°39'27.75"N 8°49'29.90"W
Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Fetal
According to tradition, there were many wonders and blessings in the17th century, where a chapel was built after Our Lady appeared to a shepherdess. Many worshippers flock to the sanctuary chanting the rosary, especially during Lent.