|• President||Paulo Inácio (PSD)|
|• Total||408.14 km2 (157.58 sq mi)|
|Elevation||42 m (138 ft)|
|• Density||140/km2 (360/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±00:00 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+01:00 (WEST)|
2460, 2461, 2475
|Local holiday||20 August|
Alcobaça (Portuguese pronunciation: [alkuˈβasɐ] (
The city of Alcobaça became notable after the first king of Portugal, Afonso Henriques, decided to build a church to commemorate the Conquest of Santarém from the Moors in 1147. The church later evolved into the Monastery of Alcobaça, one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in the country. In the church are the tombs of Pedro I of Portugal and his murdered mistress Inês de Castro. Over the centuries this monastery played an important role in shaping Portuguese culture.
A few kilometers to the north of Alcobaça is the Monastery of Batalha, another gothic building constructed in memory of a different important battle, that of Aljubarrota. To the west of Alcobaça is the fishing village of Nazaré, now a popular resort town. To the south is the city of Caldas da Rainha and the medieval town of Óbidos. Also to the northeast is the town of Porto de Mós with its rebuilt castle.
A town that only became notable in the 12th century when it was chosen as the future site of Portugal's largest church. In March 1147, the fledgling King Dom Afonso Henriques, defeated the Moors by capturing the city of Santarém. As a tribute to his victory he vowed to build a magnificent home for the Order of Cistercians. It took another 76 years before this task was completed. The monarchy continued to carry out further construction and 60 years later King Dinis built the main cloister. The Monastery was consecrated in 1262.
The church contains the tombs of Pedro I of Portugal and his murdered mistress Inês de Castro and with it the story of the tragic liaison between Pedro and Inês. Forced at an early age as a royal duty, he was to marry Constanza, the Infanta (Princess) of Castile, but died shortly after the marriage. Dom Pedro escape with his true love and later lived in the city of Coimbra. His father, King Afonso IV, believing that the family of Inês was a threat to his own kingdom had her murdered. Shortly after the death of his father Dom Pedro declared that he had married Inês in a prior secret ceremony in Bragança, and promptly took a gruesome revenge on the killers and exhumed her body. He presented the embalmed corpse at the court with a crown on her head and demanded that all his courtiers kneel and individually pay homage to her decomposed hand. Today, their ornate tombs face each other so that on Judgment Day his first sight would be of his beloved Inês.
During the following centuries the monks from this monastery had a major influence on the development of Portuguese culture. Notably, in 1269 they were the first to give public lessons to their flock, and later they produced the first authoritative history on Portugal in a series of books. In 1810 the invading French pillaged the Abbey taking with them most of its most important treasures, including the noteworthy library. The items that remained were later stolen in 1834 during an anti-clerical riot and the banning of the religious Orders in Portugal.
|Climate data for Alcobaça, Portugal (1971–2000)|
|Record high °C (°F)||23.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||15.1|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||9.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||4.2|
|Record low °C (°F)||−5.5|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||106.0|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm)||13.6||13.1||10.4||12.4||11.1||6.8||3.1||3.4||6.4||11.4||13.8||15.5||121.0|
|Average relative humidity (%) (at 9:00 UTC)||87||85||80||76||74||74||75||76||80||84||87||87||80|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||135.1||117.9||194.2||193.7||222.8||230.6||255.0||274.5||222.7||172.5||126.5||114.0||2,259.3|
|Source: Instituto Português do Mar e da Atmosfera (Average sunshine hours only recorded for 8 years: 1982 and 1985-1991)|
Administratively, the municipality is divided into 13 civil parishes ( freguesias ):
The main feature of the city is essentially the monastery that proudly presents a long and sombre façade with 18th-century embellishments. This austerity is further emphasized in the cloisters with its apt name of "Cloister of Silence". In contrast within the Abbey is the massive kitchen with a running stream specially diverted to pass through as a supply of fresh water. The open area of the kitchen chimney is large enough to take a whole ox for roasting. The surround to the sacristy doorway is an outstanding example of Manueline decoration. In 1794, Lord Beckford visited the Abbey and commented that he found some 300 monks "living in a very splendid manner"!
A few kilometers to the north of Alcobaça is another wondrous building constructed in memory of a different important battle, that of Aljubarrota in 1385, when King John I of Portugal defeated the Castilians and ensuring two hundred years of independence from the Castilian invaders. The construction of the Abbey at Batalha commenced in 1388 and was added to by various Portuguese Kings over these next two centuries. To the east of Batalha is the world-famous location of Fátima and a point of pilgrimage for the Roman Catholic religion due to the vision of the Virgin Mary in 1917 by three young children whilst tending their flock. To the west of Alcobaça is the well-known fishing village of Nazaré. Today, the village is now a small town and a popular holiday resort with most of its past and traditions having rapidly evaporated in the course of time. A very successful Portuguese feature film was made in the early 20th century that dramatically captured the primitive and dangerous life of these fishermen. Stoutly Catholic, the inhabitants have retained some of their past as can be still seen in their own particular style of costume. To the south is Caldas da Rainha and the quaint medieval town of Óbidos that is an attraction for any tourists that enjoys a true glimpse of the past. Also to the south is the town of Porto de Mós with its fanciful rebuilt castle. This town borders the Nature Reserve Parque Natural das Serras de Aire e Candeeiros. These 390 square kilometres of limestone-covered landscape is also known for its caverns. The best known being the Grutas de Mira de Aire can be visited and consists of tunnels, caverns with stalactites, stalagmites, lakes, and a music and light finale.
Notable people from Alcobaça include:
Alcobaça is twinned with:
Afonso IV, called the Brave, was King of Portugal from 1325 until his death. He was the only legitimate son of King Denis of Portugal by his wife Elizabeth of Aragon.
Caldas da Rainha is a medium-sized city in western central Portugal in the historical province of Estremadura and the district of Leiria. The city serves as the seat of the larger municipality of the same name and of the Comunidade Intermunicipal do Oeste. At the 2011 census, the municipality had a population of 51,729 in an area of 255.69 square kilometres (98.72 sq mi), with 30,343 residing in the city. Although the city itself lies about 10.5 kilometres (6.5 mi) inland, three of the municipality's civil parishes lie on the Atlantic Ocean. Caldas da Rainha is best known for its sulphurous hot springs and ceramic pottery.
Óbidos is a town and a municipality in Oeste region. The town proper has approximately 3100 inhabitants. The municipality population in 2011 was 11,772, in an area of 141.55 square kilometres.
Elizabeth of Aragon, more commonly known as Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, T.O.S.F., was queen consort of Portugal, a tertiary of the Franciscan Order and is venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church.
The Monastery of Batalha, literally the Monastery of the Battle, is a Dominican convent in the municipality of Batalha, in the district of Leiria, in the Centro Region of Portugal. Originally, and officially, known as the Monastery of Saint Mary of the Victory, it was erected in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota and would serve as the burial church of the 15th-century Aviz dynasty of Portuguese royalty. It is one of the best and original examples of Late Gothic architecture in Portugal, intermingled with the Manueline style.
Bombarral is a Portuguese municipality in the Oeste Subregion, region Centro. The population in 2011 was 13,193, in an area of 91.29 km². It includes four civil parishes that provide local services.
Beatrice of Castile or Beatriz, was an infanta of Castile, daughter of Sancho IV and María de Molina. She was Queen of Portugal from the accession of her husband, Afonso IV, until his death on 28 May 1357.
The Alcobaça Monastery is a Roman Catholic monastic complex located in the town of Alcobaça, in central Portugal, some 120km north of Lisbon. The monastery was established in 1153 by the first Portuguese king, Afonso Henriques, and would develop a close association with the Portuguese monarchy throughout its seven-century-long history.
Portuguese architecture refers to both the architecture of present-day Portugal's territory in Continental Portugal, the Azores and Madeira, as well as the architectural heritage/patrimony of Portuguese architects and styles throughout the world, particularly in countries formerly part of the Portuguese Empire.
Portuguese Gothic architecture is the architectural style prevalent in Portugal in the Late Middle Ages. As in other parts of Europe, Gothic style slowly replaced Romanesque architecture in the period between the late 12th and the 13th century. Between the late 15th and early 16th century, Gothic was replaced by Renaissance architecture through an intermediate style called Manueline.
The Royal Equestrian and Military Order of Saint Michael of the Wing is a Portuguese Roman Catholic dynastic order that is believed to have been founded in 1147 in the Alcobaça Monastery in Alcobaça, Portugal, by King Afonso I of Portugal, in commemoration of the Conquest of Santarém from the Moors in 1147. The name was chosen in honour of the military Saint Archangel Michael, who assisted in the victory in the shape of a wing in the sky.
The Legend of Nazaré has it that on the early morning of September 14, 1182, Dom Fuas Roupinho alcalde of Porto de Mós, Portugal, was out hunting in his domain, near the coast, when he saw a deer which he immediately began chasing. All of a sudden a heavy fog rose up from the sea. The deer ran towards the top of a cliff and Dom Fuas in the midst of the fog was cut off from his companions. When he realised he was on the edge of the cliff he recognised the place. He was next to a small grotto where a statue of Our Lady with the Enfant was venerated. Thus he prayed out loud Our Lady, Help Me. All of a sudden the horse miraculously stopped at the end of a rocky point suspended over the void, the Bico do Milagre, thus saving the rider and his mount from a drop of more than 100 metres, a fall that would certainly have caused their death.
The Castle of Atouguia da Baleia is a medieval castle in the civil parish of Atouguia da Baleia, municipality of Peniche, in the Portuguese of district of Leiria.
The Romanesque style of architecture was introduced in Portugal between the end of the 11th and the beginning of the 12th century. In general, Portuguese cathedrals have a heavy, fortress-like appearance, with crenellations and few decorative elements apart from portals and windows. Portuguese Romanesque cathedrals were later extensively modified, among others the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, although it only had some minor changes.
The Castle of Óbidos is a well-preserved medieval castle located in the civil parish of Santa Maria, São Pedro e Sobral da Lagoa, in the municipality of Óbidos, Oeste portuguese region.
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