What to see in Alcobaca, small center of Portugal, history of the monastery and buried people, itinerary including the cloister of Silence and the Hall of the Kings.
The small town of Alcobaca has become world famous thanks to the presence of the Real Abbey of Santa Maria, a Cistercian monastery declared a World Heritage Site in 1989 by Unesco.
Traditionally, the origin of this convent is linked to the first king of Portugal, Alfonso Henriques, who would have donated these lands to the order of Cistercian monks to settle in the country.
The church is characterized by a Latin cross plan, 106 meters long.
At the two ends of the transept are the mortal remains of Peter I and his lover Dona Ines de Castro.
Their tombs represent two excellent examples of medieval funerary art.
The main Gothic cloister, dedicated to King Dinis and called the Cloister of Silence, is the largest in Portugal, characterized by a widespread soberness of architectural forms.
The upper floor, in Manueline style, was added later.
The courtyard communicates with the kitchen, a large room dominated by a grandiose fireplace decorated with azulejos, built in the thirteenth century.
Around the cloister are the refectory, a remarkable hall with three naves with vaults, and the Hall of the Kings, characterized by azulejos on the walls depicting episodes relating to the history of the foundation of the monastery.