Monastery of Alcobaça
The Monastery of Alcobaça was one of the first Cistercian foundations in Portugal. It became the main centre of this religious order, as a result of a continuous policy of royal protection begun by King Afonso Henriques. The Monastery’s extant medieval structures are unique in the world. Besides, its later additions, dating from the 16th through to the 18th centuries, bear an important testimony to the evolution of Portuguese architecture.
Foundation of the Abbey of Saint Mary of Alcobaça and its donation charter date from 8 April 1153. The Cistercian land was therefore delimited by then. On the contrary, the borders of the Kingdom of Portugal advanced south towards the Tagus River following the conquest of the towns of Santarém and Lisbon in 1147. This move called for a quick and efficient human settlement so that the Christian expansion would proceed southwards. Militia from the Order of the Temple protected the lands held in demesne from Moorish invasions. The focal point for this dynamics was the abbey, its construction having begun in 1178. This date has an important “strategic” meaning as four years later Saint Bernard was canonised. It was certainly one of the first abbeys of this Order to be built with this intention in mind. The importance of the Monastery of Alcobaça increased accordingly in cultural, religious and ideological terms. The more limpid and austere its architecture, the more obvious its monumentality became. It was surely the first example of Gothic architecture in Portugal: a model that would only be reproduced much later as it was originally an isolated white jewel against a vast landscape. The Monastery is inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Contents edited by DDCI.
- Governing body:
- Ana Fátima Pagará
- Mosteiro de Alcobaça, 2460 - 018 Alcobaça
- Lat: 39.54821543268398 Long: -8.979928493499756
- +351 262 505 120
How to get there: De Lisboa ou Leiria – A8 até à saída Alcobaça/Nazaré/Valado dos Frades, depois EN 8-5 em direção a Alcobaça. Alternativa A1, saída Leiria, por Norte ou Aveiras por Sul, depois IC2
Urban Bus: Expresso
Parking facilities: Parking facilities: free parking is available for cars and buses in the monument's own car park.
Accessibility: There is accessibility for persons with reduced mobility on the ground floor through the Monk’s Hall, D. Dinis Cloister, Chapter House, Refectory, Kitchen and Church. This service is available on request (at the reception), or by advance reservation.
16 October to 31 March - From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 5:30 p.m.)
1 April to 15 Octuber - From 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m p.m. (last entry at 6:00 p.m.)
The ticket office closes 30 minutes before the monument closes.
It closes on 1 January, Easter Sunday, 1 May, 20th august, 24 and 25 December.
Standard ticket: 6 €
Payment methods: cash, Visa, ATM card and cheque.
DGPC Admission Fees - click here
DGPC online tickets - buy here
Conditions of entry to DGPC Museums and Monuments – click here
The entrance is free in National Museums and Monuments at sundays and holidays until 2 p.m. for residents in Portugal.
Coordinator: Cecília Gil
Technical assistants: Ana Filipa Delgado and Filipa Miguel
Tel.: + 351 262 505120
There are daily guided visits for national students
For further information, please visit the Monastery’s website
Access: A1 or A8 motorway; by Express bus.
FAQs (frequently asked questions)
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