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Mosteiro de Alcobaça | Alcobaça, Portugal

12434 Views 62 Replies 61 Participants Last post by  reportero
In 1222, the Monastery at Alcobaça was completed and consecrated(construction started in 1178), with room for over nine hundred monks. The monks were divided into deaneries, and as soon as one office was completed by one deanery, the next started, so that worship carried on continuously.
The white brothers, skilled in the agriculture that had been introduced by the founding members, had already planted vineyards. The Abbey paid a triple tithe to the State and, for the first hundred and fifty years after its completion, also carried the task of supplying the reigning monarch with a pair of new boots whenever he visited. The public school, which was begun in 1269, and the use of the land for farming purposes, providing a genuine agricultural training ground, the fruits of which are still visible today.
By 1288, even the rich monasteries were finding it too expensive to finance their overseas students and Alcobaça, Santa Cruz, São Vicente and Santa Maria applied to the Pope asking for help in establishing General Studies in Lisbon. This was shortly moved to Coimbra, to become the foundation of the university.
Like most of Europe, Portugal suffered much from the Black Death. The Abbey was much affected, as the number of serving brothers was reduced drastically to nine monks.
In 1357, after the macabre ceremony of the crowning of Queen Inêz, she was reburied, with pomp, in the magnificent sarcophagus prepared for her at Alcobaça. The heavily and intricately carved tomb is decorated with scenes from her life, and supported on six gargoyle-like representations of her murderers and enemies. At his death, King Pedro I was interred in an equally elaborate tomb placed opposite to that of his murdered Queen.
In 1385, however, sufficient manpower allowed the Abbot of Alcobaça to send eleven vassals to help João, Master of Aviz, in the Battle of Aljubrotta.
Three Castilian cauldrons were captured from the baggage train by João's victorious troops. One disappeared shortly after the battle. One was kept at Alcobaça, and the third was installed in a house in Aljubarrota until 1834. King Philip I of Portugal6, when it was proposed that the one from the Abbey be melted down and turned into a bell, was said to have scorned the proposal, stating that he did not wish to be reminded of his problems with the Portuguese, by yet another din.
Some building work was carried out in the early sixteenth Century, during the reign of King Manuel I, but luckily before the style of architecture known as manuelin, after this king, had developed into the riot of tracery and carving which would have looked out of place against the simple, pure lines of the Cistercian construction.
Around this time the population had recovered to around three hundred monks at Alcobaça, but they were greatly outnumbered by the more than four thousand rabbits in the kitchen hutches.
More work was carried out in the 18th century, but again the monastery was fortunate in that little of the original structure was touched by the baroque embellishments of the Western facade.
Later in the eighteenth century, however, all the monasteries and convents were suppressed. The most important of these had already be recognised as national monuments, so the destruction and wholesale selling off of these large properties did not occur to the extent of that suffered during the English suppression of the monasteries in the sixteenth century, under King Henry VIII.
During the Peninsular Wars of the early nineteenth century, Alcobaça came to the attention of the French. Considering the demoralising effect of destroying the Portuguese national monuments, Napoleon's General, Masséna, ordered that Alcobaça Monastery be totally destroyed. Luckily the order fell into the wrong hands, or was never delivered, and the building only suffered minor violence. The bases of some of the nave pillars are slightly eaten away where fires had been set. The gothic tombs of King Pedro and Inêz were damaged where the French troops had tried to break them open in their search for valuables.

source: BBC

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Stupid French...
holly! this is incredible, so HUGE!
I don't even have to think about it - 10/10. Absolutely profound architecture.
It's Great :D 10/10
The monestery is the most important "Cister" monument in the whole europe!

The two gothic tombs from the King D. Pedro and the Queen Ines de Castro are one of the best gothic sculputres in Europe! Those two tell a story of a true and great love between them! Also have some christian scenes.
Masterpiece of art!

D.Pedro tomb

D.Ines de Castro tomb

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really great
Yeep , one more in BP!! (Beautiful Portugal)
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