Construction began soon after in 1386 and took over a century to complete, spanning the reign of seven monarchs. The building encompasses the changes in architectural style during this period, such as Rayonnant Gothic and Manueline, as well as influences from fifteen different architects. The initial plans were drawn up by master architect Afonso Domingues who continued up to 1402. His work can be admired all over the site including the Claustro Real cloister and the Sala do Capítulo (Chapterhouse). There are influences of English Gothic in his style which might be a deliberate recognition of the English troops who fought at Aljubarrota.
Domingues was followed by Huguet from 1402 to 1438 who added a more flamboyant style common during the late gothic period, as well as English styles brought from his land of birth. This is most evident in the main façade, the dome of the square chapter house, the Founder's Chapel, the basic structure of the Imperfect Chapels and the north and east naves of the main cloister.
Between 1448 and 1477 the task of building the abbey fell to Fernão de Évora who added the Cloister of Afonso V. His successor, Mateus Fernandes the Elder, added most of the Manueline flourishes around the portals and windows, most notably in the Capelas Imperfeitas. The enormous effort of building Batalha Abbey finally came to a halt in the mid-sixteenth century when João III decided to put all his efforts into the construction of the mighty Jerónimos Monastery in Belém, Lisbon.
During the period of construction it was the burial site of the Aviz dynasty of Portuguese royals. The abbey survived unscathed the 1755 earthquake only to be sacked and burned by invading Napoleonic forces in 1810. After the dissolution of the monasteries in 1834 the Dominicans were expelled. The church and convent were abandoned. After four years of neglect King Ferdinand II had the foresight to restore the complex, a process lasting 60 years. Batalha Abbey was finally declared a national monument in 1907. In 1983 it was added to UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites.
What's striking about the abbey is the abundant use of decorative elements applied to it's design such as the fleur-de-lis pattern in the balustrades and the crockets on the pinnacles along with the incredible craftsmanship found bordering the portals and windows. The subtle use of pilasters, tall narrow gothic arched windows and prominent vertical features give the impression the whole structure is reaching to heaven.
Entrance is gained through the west façade and it's well worth stopping to admire the carvings that adorn this portal. Flanking the entrance are sculptures of the twelve apostles, all with unique features. Within the stepped archway are a number of sculptures representing biblical kings and queens, prophets and angels holding musical instruments from the Middle Ages. In the apex of the arch in high relief is a statue of Christ in Majesty accompanied by the Evangelists.
There are plenty of various types of eateries in close proximity of the Abbey.
There are toilets in the abbey in various places.
There is free car parking both to the North and South of the monastery. Buses should park to the South of the monument (private parking) or East (next to the multi-use pavilion).
The building is fully accessible for those with reduced mobility and wheelchairs and an escort is available, if required.
This little town is only on the tourist map because of it's magnificent internationally famous Dominican abbey. Most visitors arrive by tour bus and leave without experiencing Batalha town. Yet for the savvy traveller Batalha makes a great base for venturing out from. The town lies in the Lena valley in the Leira district north of Lisbon and in day-tripping distance of Alcobaça, Fatima, Leiria, Óbidos, Peniche and Nazaré. Once the tour buses leave the cafés and restaurants which border the abbey are able to give you more time and a personal service.
Ponte da Boutaca
This present construction replaces the original built by Diogo Boytac and from whom the bridge acquired it's name. A french artist who contributed in the construction of the monastery here in Batalha as we all as Jeronimos in Belém. It's six gothic arches spans the river Calvaria and was built in the second half of the 19th century incorporating the Revivalist and neo Gothic styles. It is the only bridge in the country which still has it's toll road houses intact and now houses collections of local arts and crafts. It was classified as a building of public interest in 1982 and is included in the special protection zone of the Monastery of Batalha.
Igreja Matriz da Exaltação de Santa Cruz
Somewhat overshadowed by the magnificent Abbey the Igreja Matriz da Exaltação de Santa Cruz church is still worth a glance over if you're passing by. It's most impressive feature is the ornate Gothic come Manueline portal. It was built in 1540 in order to serve the construction team working at the Abbey. The interior is quite austere with the altar carved from local marble.
The Residencial Batalha has a privileged location right in the down-town area of Batalha, with some rooms having views of the Monastery. The Residencial Batalha offers their customers a high quality serves whilst enjoying a relaxing stay.
Largo da Igreja, Apartado 134, 2440-976, Batalha, Portugal.
39º 39" 29.8' N | 08º 49" 25.8' W | +351 244 767 500 | firstname.lastname@example.org
The This small family run boutique hotel can be found 100 metres up a side street away from the hubbub of town. The hotel comprises of a swimming pool, 15 comfortable rooms, all with air conditioning and a terrace. Very bright, clean and contemporary with staff who go that extra mile to ensure your stay is as peaceful as possible.
Rua Carvalho do Outeiro 2, 2440 Batalha, Portugal.
39º 39" 24.7' N | 08º 49" 25.6' W | +351 244 765 806 | email@example.com
As it's title suggests this restaurant specialises in Leitão (suckling piglet) which is cooked in their house style to perfection. If you're not a porky type of person don't be put off because there's plenty other options on the menu to choose from, al of which are of equal quality and tastiness. Popular with locals the staff are as attentive as possible and at hand for recommendations and wine pairings.
Daily: 12h00 - 15h00/19h00 - 23h00
38 Casal da Amieira, Batalha 2440-477, Portugal. | 39º 38' 55.4" N | 08º 50' 23.0" W
+351 244 767 853 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Website | Facebook
A traditional and unpretentious restaurant which is respected for the quality of it's produce and the quality of service provided. Set overlooking the Monastery of Batalha, the Burro Velho Restaurant offers a relaxed atmosphere of comfort and good taste, an ideal setting to enjoy the best of traditional food, prepared with creativity and with ingredients carefully selected and cultivated, (often by organic farming).
Although the Burro Velho (old donkey) isn't himself on the menu there are plenty of tempting dishes of fish, meat and seafood. Be sure to try their Octopus Rice, several recipes of Cod Fish, and, of course, the famous house style steak. .
Daily: 12h00 - 15h00/19h00 - 23h00
Rua Nossa Sra. do Caminho nº6A, 2440-121 Batalha, Portugal. | 39º 39' 33.8" N | 08º 49' 28.3" W
+351 244 764 174 | email@example.com | Website
This charming boutique deli and café is an ideal place to sample the nerdy produce the local area has to offer. What could be better than to sit, relax and enjoy a platter of cheeses, hams and salami wash down with some great local wine.
Daily: 10h00 - 15h00/19h00 - 23h00
Rua António Maria dos Santos, nº6 B/C, 2440-114 Batalha, Portugal. | 39º 39' 29.0" N | 08º 49' 28.4" W
+351 244 764 174 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Facebook
Batalha is 71 miles (114km) North of Lisbon Portela Airport Website
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Get on the A16 in Algueirão-Mem Martins from N249 and Av. Mário Firmino Miguel, drive from A8 to Alpedriz. Take the exit 23 from A8. Continue on N242-4 to Batalha.
Latitude - 39º 38' 55.4" | Longitude - 08º 50' 23.0"
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Take the urban train service (comboios urbanos) to Lisbon's central train station Rossio.
Rede Expressos run services to Batalha from Lisbon Sete Rios coach startion and takes about two hours.