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A Condensed History

The Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, also known as the Monastery of Batalha is without doubt one of the most beautiful examples of Portuguese and European architecture.

This dazzling architectural ensemble was born out of a promise the King, João I, made in thanks for his victory at Aljubarrota, a battle fought on August 14, 1385, which assured him the throne and guaranteed independence for Portugal.

The construction took over 150 years, across various phases. This is the reason why one can find not only gothic style (for the most part), but also manualine style and some renaissance touches. A number of alterations were made to the initial project, resulting in a vast monastic complex that today includes a church, two cloisters with annexed dependencies and two royal pantheons, the Founder’s Chapel and the Unfinished Chapels.

King João I gave it to the order of Saint Dominic, under the good auspices of Doctor João das Regras, chancellor of the kingdom, and Friar Lourenço Lampreia, confessor of the monarch.

In the Dominicans’ possession until the extinction of the religious orders in 1384, the monument was then incorporated within the Public Exchequer, and today it is a cultural, touristic and devotional Monument under the jurisdiction of IGESPAR, national Monument also declared World Heritage by UNESCO, in 1983.