Situated at about 45 km from Caldas da Rainha is the city of Batalha. The first thing that catches your eye on
entering this city is the Dominicans abbey Santa Maria da Vitória which is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a masterpiece of Portuguese Gothic architecture and famous for its Manueline elements.
The limestone monastery was built to commemorate the victory of Joŕo I over Castilië at Aljubarotta (15 km to the south of Batahla) in 1385. It was the decisive battle that assured Portugal’s independence from Spain once and for all. King Joŕo kept his promise and near the battlefield (battle in Portuguese - batalha) rose a powerful abbey. The first architect (1388-1402) who also designed the ground plans was Afonso Domingues and he was followed by many other notables. This monastery was declared a national shrine in 1840 (it has not been used as a monastery since 1834).
The flamboyant west front of the abbey’s Gothic church is particularly richly decorated with sculptures and shows clear English influences. Huguete, the architect who completed the building, was probably an Englishman. Also beautiful are the cloister gardens and the gardens at the front of the monastery. This abbey is definitely worth a visit when you are staying in our B&B.