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.
October-marchFrom 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last entry at 5:30 p.m.)April - septemberFrom 9 a.m. to 7p.m. ( last entry 6:30 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.
Access: A1 or A8 motorway; by Express bus.
FAQs (frequently asked questions)
PublicationsRatio Fecit Diversum. Essais sur l'Abbaye d'Alcobaça
Chávenas de caféCoffee cup and saucer "Um Arquitecto/ Um Monumento"- Mosteiro de Alcobaça
PublicationsRatio Fecit Diversum. Ensaios Sobre a Abadia de Alcobaça
PublicationsÀ Mesa nas Terras de Alcobaça em Finais da Idade Média
BrincosEarrings "Asas de anjo" - Mosteiro de Alcobaça
ColaresNecklace "Angel's wings"- Mosteiro de Alcobaça
PublicationsO Scriptorium de Alcobaça: o longo percurso do livro português
Museus e Monumentos
Museums and monuments are unique places providing memorable learning experiences found crucial for creating an identity.
Due to their beauty and setting, their collections and cultural programmes, these spaces convey values, they arouse memories and interact with our contemporary world. This area will give you access to useful information regarding 25 Museums and Monuments under our care.
You will also have access to information regarding 161 museums comprising the Portuguese Museums Network, all of which have been accredited by the DGPC.