World Heritage #0264 – Monastery of Batalha

Last updated Mar 27, 2022 | Published on Jul 5, 2013Portugal, Southern Europe, World Heritage Sites

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As soon as you enter the halls and cloisters of the monastery of Batalha you will discover a world of tranquillity and the crafts of great masons. 

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Country: Portugal
  • Date of Inscription: 1983
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 264:

“The Monastery of the Dominicans of Batalha was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It was to be the Portuguese monarchy’s main building project for the next two centuries. Here a highly original, national Gothic style evolved, profoundly influenced by Manueline art, as demonstrated by its masterpiece, the Royal Cloister.”

My visit

I visited the monastery in 2013. This is an excerpt from my article:

The monastery in Batalha is large, tall and is set apart from the town almost like a fortress behind a wide moat, the moat actually being open space. The high spires and the rooftop vaults have, in addition to the monumental Gothic style, also large portions of the extravagant Manueline style we had seen in Lisbon.

Once inside, the massive and to some presumably ugly exterior appearance, gives way to beautiful artwork. Obviously this sentiment increases when we get close to it and enter the cloisters and halls inside the monastery. By and large, the church itself looks quite like the one in Alcobaça, which is another World Heritage Site in Portugal.

Read more about my visit. 

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