What became of the Templars? Why is Friday the 13th considered unlucky? Batalha and Tomar. Two top landmarks of Portugal (book)
A scam for culture’s sake
-You fooled me! You told me that on this trip we would see the seaside resorts of Portugal and all day we saw monasteries! And they were not on the coast!
That’s what my friend Dimitris said to my friend Maria. Or that’s how they described it to us after returning from the trip to Portugal.
Maria booked for both of them a day trip. This included the monasteries constituting the top monuments of Portugal. But as Dimitris prefers natural beauties, she emphasised to him the part of the excursion that included the seaside resorts of Estoril and Cascais.
Finally, it seems that the visit to the monasteries covered most of the trip. And so Maria had to endure the complaints of Dimitris. Not that she quailed, of course… Knowing her from school, I’m sure she will not hesitate to do it again. Especially if it’s for the sake of culture…
Batalla and Tomar. Two top landmarks of Portugal
If you too prefer the sea, don’t try these visits. But if you want to see some of the most important monuments of Portugal, make a sacrifice.
Four are the monasteries constituting the crown of Portuguese architecture:
-the monastery of the Hieronymites in Lisbon. We’ll see this along with the Portuguese capital.
-the Cistercian monastery in Alcobaça. We saw this in a separate article on the occasion of Valentine’s day http://culturehikes.com/en/sensational-love-story-portugal/
-and the two monasteries that we’ll see here: that of the Dominicans in Batalha and that of the Templars in Tomar (the story also includes Templars, to tempt you and prevent you from preferring the seaside resorts).
The Monastery of the Battle
The Dominican monastery of Batalha (Battle) was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese against the Spaniards in the battle of Aljubarrota in 1385. It would be the main building work of the Portuguese monarchy for the next two centuries.
Here a very original, national Gothic style was created. It’s deeply influenced by the Manueline style, as is seen from its masterpiece, the Royal Cloister. The Manueline style is the Late Gothic style of the early 16th century. Its name derives from King Manuel I, who reigned at that time. Below, in Tomar, we’ll see its most impressive specimen.
The rest of the article, in this book
About the author
Hello! I am Denis, an architect based in Athens, Greece. I teach history of art and architecture in higher education. That’s one passion of mine. The other one is hiking, in and out of town. If you follow me, I’ll share my discoveries with you.
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