This place owes its name to the two rivers that join here, the Alco and the Baça. But Alcobaça owes its fame to the biggest church in Portugal, the Mosteiro de Santa Maria, with its sober, medieval architecture. The building of this abbey in 1153 is closely related to the arrival of the Order of the Cistercians in Portugal and the birth of the nation.
Lain to rest in this Mosteiro (monastery) are Pedro, the son of Alfonso IV and his lady-in-waiting Ines Castro. Alfonso arranged Ines”murder but after his death Pedro had Ines excavated and crowned. In a gruesome gesture, he forced his court to kneel down before Ines and kiss her corpse’s hand.
After a visit to the monasteery it’s nice to relax at one of the neighbouring outdoor cafes. Alcobaça is about a 25 km drive from Quinta Verde, and if you avoid the motorway you will enjoy a scenic journey.