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  • Address: Alcobaça, Portugal
Alcobaça is a pleasant town with a jumble of medieval and modern architecture and a largely pedestrianized center, but its main attraction is undoubtedly Portugal’s first monastery, founded here by the country’s first king, Alfonso Henriques, in 1153. Today the magical Cistercian monastery of Santa Maria is UNESCO World Heritage-listed thanks to its peerless Gothic architecture – it was the first public building in Portugal to adopt the Gothic style.

Just to the left of the church doorway, the Hall of Kings is elaborately decorated with azulejo tiles depicting the history of the monastery up until the 18th century plus a cluster of royal statues in various states of repair. The massive Gothic church at the heart of the complex is an ocher-stone fantasia of flying buttresses, ornate roundels, lacy stone carving and statuary topped with two intricate bell towers.
The long wings that flank the church are much simpler in design, as is its barn-like interior, with unadorned pillars, a plain vaulted roof and bare walls. Simple it may be, but the nave is Portugal’s longest, at 330 feet (100 m). The pair of ornate tombs in the transept belong to King Pedro I and his murdered mistress Ines de Castro; other Portuguese monarchs buried here include kings Alfonso II and III, who are laid to rest in the Chapel of St Bernard, dedicated to the patron saint of the Cistercian order.

Access to the monastery from the church is through the vast three-tiered Cloister of Silence, which is planted with orange trees and contains an ancient fountain that once saw duty as washroom to the monks. It is one of three cloisters surrounded by the monks’ sparse refectory, dormitories and kitchens, which are decorated with traditional blue-and-white tiles.

Practical Information

Alcobaça is 80 minutes north of Lisbon up the A8 and N8-5. There is a large car park a 10-minute walk away from the monastery on the edge of town. A visit can easily be combined with lunch in one of the delightful fish restaurants at Nazaré, 20 minutes away on the Atlantic coast.

Tours & Tickets

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Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha Day Trip, Lisbon, null
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 3

Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha Day Trip

4 star rating: Recommended 4536 Reviews

Take a fascinating day trip from Lisbon to the Portuguese towns of Óbidos, Nazaré, Fátima and Batalha. During the day, explore the charming ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 9 hours 30 minutes (approx.)

From USD $82.38
Private tour to Óbidos, Alcobaça, Batalha, Nazaré and Fátima, Lisbon, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private tour to Óbidos, Alcobaça, Batalha, Nazaré and Fátima

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 8 Reviews

Discover five of Portugal’s most historic cities around Fátima during this full-day private tour from Lisbon. A friendly local guide will tour you around ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $74.37
Fátima Batalha Alcobaça and Óbidos Full Day Private Tour from Lisbon, Lisbon, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Fátima Batalha Alcobaça and Óbidos Full Day Private Tour from Lisbon

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 10 Reviews

Embark with us on a full-day private tour where you will discover 4 different western regions of Portugal ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $82.38
Alcobaça, Batalha, Nazaré, Obidos Day Tour, Lisbon, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Alcobaça, Batalha, Nazaré, Obidos Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 8 Reviews

In this tour, you visit 4 different locations : Batalha, Nazaré and Obidos, or Batalha, Alcobaça, Nazaré and Obidos, depending on your ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $82.38
Private Tour: Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça Monasteries from Lisbon, Lisbon, Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Tomar, Batalha, and Alcobaça Monasteries from Lisbon

Discover 3 of the most important UNESCO monuments on this full-day tour as you are escorted by a private guide. See the Convent of Christ and Knights ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $160.18
Historical and Religious Tour: Alcobaca, Batalha and Fatima, Coimbra, Private Sightseeing Tours
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Historical and Religious Tour: Alcobaca, Batalha and Fatima

Visit Alcobaça, Batalha and Fátima. Learn about the Cistercian Monastery of Alcobaça, classified as a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and then ...  Read more

Location: Alcobaça, Portugal
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $125.85
The Templars Treasure: Alcobaça Batalha and Tomar - Private Full Day Tour from Lisbon, Lisbon, ... 
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

The Templars Treasure: Alcobaça Batalha and Tomar - Private Full Day Tour from Lisbon

The Knights Templar had a key role in human History, and later, the Order of the Temple, based in the Convent of Christ in Tomar, had a great impact in the ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $423.32
Private Tour: Óbidos and Nazaré with Optional Wine Tasting, Lisbon, Private Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Óbidos and Nazaré with Optional Wine Tasting

Embark on this full-day private tour of the western regions of Portugal. Visit the Quinta do Sanguinhal vineyards where you have the option of participating in ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $160.18
Private Tour: Mira de Aire Caves with UNESCO Monasteries, Lisbon, Private Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Tour: Mira de Aire Caves with UNESCO Monasteries

Venture on this private full-day tour with a professional guide to some of the most emblematic places in the heart of Portugal. Explore the caves of Mira de ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $160.18
Private Full-Day Tour of Coimbra and Quinta das Lágrimas, Lisbon, Private Day Trips
TVRM_SORTED : true ESSENTIAL : 1 ADMISSION : 5

Private Full-Day Tour of Coimbra and Quinta das Lágrimas

Join this private tour and immerse yourself in the tragic love story of Peter and Inês de Castro. Learn of a tale consisting of true passion as you see ...  Read more

Location: Lisbon, Portugal
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $183.06

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