Memorial monument of the battle of Aljubarrota and royal pantheon, whose construction began in the late 14th century with the patronage of D. João I, the Dominican Monastery of Batalha is the most significant building of Portuguese Gothic. Its vast outbuildings today are an excellent example of the evolution of medieval architecture until the beginning of the 16th century, from the unprecedented experience of the late Gothic to the decorative profusion of the Manueline.
The Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, also called Batalha Monastery, is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful works of Portuguese and European architecture.
This exceptional architectural ensemble resulted from the fulfillment of a promise made by King D. João I, in gratitude for the victory in Aljubarrota, a battle fought on August 14, 1385, which secured the throne and guaranteed the independence of Portugal.
Dom João I is buried there, in the Founder’s Chapel, next to his wife, D. Filipa and their children.
The works lasted more than 150 years, through several phases of construction. This duration justifies the existence, in his artistic proposals, of Manueline (predominant) Gothic solutions and a brief Renaissance note. Several additions were introduced in the initial project, resulting in a vast monastic ensemble that currently features a church, two cloisters with outbuildings and two royal pantheons, the Founder’s Chapel and the Imperfect Chapels.
The abyssal Chapter Room reveals an immense vault, without any central support. The project is considered one of the most audacious in European Gothic architecture.
The story goes that the architect Afonso Domingues, already blind, soon after having made this vault, would have stayed there for three days and three nights to see if he resisted, to watch his greatest work or die with it.
Made by D Duarte are the Imperfect Chapels which, despite the name, are absolutely majestic. Only that they were never finished and remained so, incomplete but spectacular.
National monument, the monastery is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, since 1983.