Alcobaça

Mosteiro de Alcobaça

Monuments | Religious Architecture

One of the first Cistercian monastic foundations in Portuguese territory, the Mosteiro de Alcobaça became the main headquarters of this religious order, thanks to a continued policy of royal protection initiated by the first king of Portugal, D. Afonso Henriques. The still preserved medieval buildings make the Mosteiro de Alcobaça unique in the world, to which were added later buildings from the 16th to the 18th centuries as an important testament to the evolution of Portuguese architecture. The foundation of the Abbey of Santa Maria de Alcobaça and its Charter of Couto date from April 8, 1153. The domains of the Cistercian Order were thus enshrined. Those of the Kingdom of Portugal, with the conquest of the cities of Santarém and Lisbon, in 1147, extended south towards the Tagus Line. This event required the creation of rapid and effective settlements so that Christian expansion could continue south. The protection of the Coutos was handed over to the militia of the Order of the Temple, exempting them, as much as possible, from military attacks to the Moors. The focal point and radiator of all this dynamic was the abbey itself. Its construction started in 1178. This date is shrouded in great strategic significance as four years later São Bernardo is canonized. This will certainly be one of the first abbeys of the Order to be built with this intention already in mind. The importance of the Mosteiro de Alcobaça has evolved in a cultural, religious and ideological crescendo. Its monumentality is all the more evident as the more clear and austere is its architecture. It is, moreover, the first essay of Gothic architecture in Portugal: a model that was not immediately continued and only much later was reproduced, functioning as an almost isolated centre, a white jewel in the landscape. It has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1983.

Alcobaça

Get directions

How to get

City buses: Expresso

Schedule

October 16 to March 31: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (last entry 5:30 pm)
April 1 to October 15: 9:00 am to 6:30 pm (last entry at 6:00 pm)
Closed: January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, August 20, December 24 and 25

Price

Normal ticket: 6 €
Free admission on Sundays and holidays until 2 pm for all citizens residing in national territory
Children and youth up to 12 years old (inclusive)

Contact

Address: Alcobaça Monastery
Tel .: + 351 262 505 120
Email: geral@malcobaca.dgpc.pt

See Also