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Portugal - Batalha
Monastery Maria da Vitória
UNESCO World Heritage
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Batalha-view to the monasteryThe Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória was built by order of King John I, in gratitude for his glorious victory over the Castilian army in the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385, which brought Portugal its independence from Spain. The construction would last for almost two centuries (1388-1533) and resulted in one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments we ever have seen.
Batalha - church facade with decoration in Manueline styleBatalha interior Gothic churchNot only shape and size of this magnificent building, but in particular also the splendid decoration of its facades with most elaborate stonemason works in Manueline decoration style are amazing and very impressive. The main entrance is the magnificent portal at the West side, with numerous elaborate sculptures, like those of the twelve apostles. A special attraction is the Founder's Chapel with the mediaeval tomb of King John I and his wife, Queen Philippa of Lancaster. The majestic interior of the church is of great grandeur and beauty, reminding a cathedral.

Batalha - Monastery, Royal CloisterBehind the transept at the back of the church, one reaches the Royal Cloisters, built in the reign of John I. The arches overlooking the garden were built later. Here the Manueline open stone and sculpting are magnificent. A marvellous example of Gothic architecture is the Chapter's House that rises to an enormous single vault that has no other support than the walls. 

Monastery Santa Maria da Vitoria
Batalha - Monastery West facade
Batalha - Monastery West portal
Batalha - Monastery - view to the church
Bathaly monastery chapel with tomb
 West side  West portal
view from
the monastery
 chapel with tomb

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