The Batalha Monastery in Portugal is considered one of the country's architectural masterpieces.
Its Gothic style and Manueline influenced decors are worth a visit and have been listed as a Unesco world Heritage.
Below is my guide to help you plan your visit with photos, tips and map.
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Why visit the Monastery of Batalha?
Is the Batalha monastery worth a visit?
Yes, the Batalha monastery is worth a visit. It is one of the most magnificent buildings in Portugal.
Its gothic structure has been well preserved and it is complimented by extra builds in Manueline style.
During this easy visit, you will marvel at the structure and at the many delicate carvings.
No wonder it is a Unesco World Heritage site.
What is Batalha famous for?
The Batalha monastery is famous for:
- the evolution in the architectural style - from Gothic to Manueline art, as Portuguese Monarchy added their section for 2 centuries
- its symbolic value as it was built to celebrate the victory over the Castilians at Aljubarrota in 1385
- the tombs of King John I and his wife Queen Philippa and other royal family members.
Here is a view of the monastery from Hotel Casa do Outeiro (some rooms have a balcony and a view over the Batalha Monastery):
Video - Virtual visit
Below is a short video to give you an idea of what it looks like to visit the Monastery of Batalha Portugal - enjoy a virtual tour!
Can you see why it is included in my list of the top things to do in Portugal?
About the name
In Portuguese, it is often referred to as Mosteiro de Batalha (Batalha Monastery).
However, its full name is Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitória (Monastery of Saint Mary of the Victory).
More photos of the different sections of the monastery after the planning tips section.
Planning tips & Map - Batalha Monastery Portugal
Where is the monastery of Batalha in Portugal? Map
This location is included (with GPS coordinates, map of location and planning info) in my travel guide eBook that helps you easily plan your Portugal road trip:
Plan your ideal road trip around Portugal
How to get to Batalha?
Need to rent a car in Portugal?
- Compare car rental prices on my favorite platform: Discovercars.com - one of the best rated sites!
- Choose the car and company you prefer (remember the villages narrow streets)
- Consider their full coverage option - I always take it for peace of mind!
- Book early to have a large choice of vehicles!
There is a large carpark behind the monastery.
Parking is not an issue in this town.
- Batalha Monastery Opening Hours: 9am to 5:30pm (Oct to Mar) - 9am to 6:30pm (Apr to Sept) - Closed on some public holidays
- It is free to enter the main church but this is not the interesting part...
- Batalha Monastery price - 6€ entrance ticket
- Keep your ticket with you as you need it 3 times: to access the Founder's Chapel, the cloisters and the unfinished chapels
- Plan 2 hours to tour all the sections, more if you get the audio guide
- Easy walking, not many stairs
There are several restaurants in town and in the region.
Some have views of the monastery.
One of the most referenced is Restaurante Burro Velho.
Where to stay in Batalha - hotels and accommodations
The town of Batalha is a great place to spend the nights as you explore the many stunning monuments in the area.
Here are some accommodation suggestions:
- Where I stayed - I chose Hotel Casa Do Outeiro for its location close to the Monastery and its excellent reviews. I enjoyed the modern and light design - they have rooms with balconies and views of the monastery - see photos and availability
- LOCATION, location, location - Hotel Mestre Afonso Domingues is facing the monastery with great views from the restaurant area - See photos and availability.
- LUXURY - Hotel Villa Batalha, a bit further away from the monastery, but with spa and golf, for those who love a little extra... See photos and availability
- FAMILY - All hotels above have family rooms (2 adults, 2 children) - but if you want your own space, Refugio da Ti Maria is a house with character you can rent not far from the center of Batalha - See photos and availability
- For other options, check out the best rated accommodations in Batalha
Largo de Mosteiro and façade
From the outside, you approach the Monastery from a large walking square.
Signs can be found outside with some explanations about the Monastery and its history.
Largo do Mosteiro
There is a large square near the monastery: Largo do Mosteiro. And in the middle is the statue of Nuno Alvares Pereira, the military commander credited for winning the Aljubarrota battle.
The entrance is via the church.
The front door is impressive with a lot of sculptures and carvings including angels and the 12 apostles.
Above the apostles are statues of angels.
And at the pinnacles is a statue of Christ.
Every single piece of sculpture is detailed and symbolic. I could have spent a full hour just on the façade, but I had to move on... lol
Map and Facts of Batalha Monastery in Portugal
A brief history
Before I lead you inside the famous building, here are a few facts about the monastery:
- The monastery of Batalha (Mosteiro da Batalha) is also called Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitoria
- Its name means Monastery of the Battle because it was built to represent the victory of the Portuguese troops at the Battle of Aljubarrota in 1385
- Built in the 14th century and modified through to the 16th century
- Its original Gothic styled evolve to incorporate the Manueline art (as you will see in the magnificent Royal Cloister)
- Added to the Unesco World heritage list in 1983, it is one of the most visited monuments in Portugal
Below is the map of the things to do in the Batalha monastery, the different sections to visit: You enter via the nave of the church, you can visit the 2 square cloisters and the round unfinished chapels.
The Gothic church
You first enter via the church.
It was built in the 14th century under Architect Huguet.
Entrance to this section is free. You can purchase your tickets inside to explore further.
The church is quite narrow, which makes it look even taller (32.4 meter in height vs 22m in width). And its height is impressive for a building from the 14th century.
It is not heavily decorated. It remains simple with beautiful carvings and elegant stained-glass windows.
The founder's Chapel (Capela de Fundador)
At the end of the nave you can visit the Founder's chapel. It was built in the 15th century as a pantheon of King Joao I and the Avis Dynasty.
Originally, it had a pyramidal roof. But It collapsed during the Earthquake of 1755.
In the center is the Tomb of King Joao I and his wife, Philippa de Lancaster, who reigned during the 14th and 15th centuries.
Their tombs are covered with 2 statues of them in full state dress.
The chapel also has the tombs of their four sons.
The most famous is Henry, known as Henry the Navigator, born in 1394. He financed many expeditions to discover new kingdoms.
Don't forget to look up to discover the octagonal roof.
Royal Cloister of King Joao I
I found the Royal Cloister the best part of the visit. I spent quite some time admiring the corridors and the play of light through the carvings.
It was built between 1386 and 1515, and as you can see, it was finished in the Manueline style. It is a little similar to the Cloister a the Jeronimos Monastery in Lisbon.
The intricate carved decor in the arches is stunning! Pay attention and see the flowers, pearls, shells and more...
Chapter House - Tomb of unknown soldier
Around the cloister you can visit the chapter house (Sala do Capitulo).
This is where the monks would have meetings.
Inside are the Tombs of an unknown soldier protected by military personnel.
I decided not to photograph.
The stained-glass window inside dates back to 1508.
Many architects have participated over the years. New technics were implemented.
The Basin (Lavabo in Portuguese) was an element of the hydraulic systems. It was located near the entrance to the refectory for people to wash their hands.
Around the cloister, your can also discover the refectory, the dormitory...
Cloister of King Afonso V
Next stop is another square cloister. The contrast is very surprising.
This cloister was built during the reign of King Afonso V (15th century).
It is visually very simple and representative of the austere gothic style.
It was one of the first double-layer cloisters in Portugal.
The Unfinished Chapels
One of the most famous places at the Batalha Monastery are the unfinished chapels (Capelas Imperfeitas in Portuguese).
They were commissioned by King Duarte in the 15th century for his pantheon. King Koao III (16th century) tried to finish the chapels too.
You have to get outside the Cloister to reenter the building on the other side. Don't loose your ticket!
As you can see on the photo below, to the left the towers are not supporting any roof... hence the 'unfinished'...
Once again, we discover a lot of very detailed carvings all around.
Other things to do in Batalha and in the area
The town of Batalha
There is not much else to see in the town of Batalha.
Fundacao Batalha de Aljubarrota museum
With a 5min drive you can ream the Fundacao Batalha de Aljubarrota museum.
- Closed on Mondays
- 10am to 5:30pm
- A small but interactive museum to learn more about the famous Aljubarrota battle
- Learn more
Alcobaça Monastery and Convent of the Christ - the Batalha Loop
The monastery is part of a loop of historical buildings.
I think all 3 are worth a visit but my favorite 2 are Batalha and the Convent of the Christ.
- Batalha to Alcobaça Monastery = 30min drive
- Batalha to Tomar = 30min drive - Check out my article about the Tomar Convent of the Christ
With Fatima and Obidos - the typical day trip from Lisbon
Day trippers from Lisbon typically combined a visit to Batalha with the fortified village of Obidos and the religious site of Fatima Sanctuary.
- Batalha to Fatima = 30min drive
- Batalha to Obidos = 50min drive - I think Obidos should not be missed - check out my article.
Want to see more of the best Portugal has to offer?
- 30 Most beautiful landscapes in Portugal - read article
- Best things to do in Portugal - read article
- The best beaches in Portugal - read article
- The best villages in Portugal - read article
- Lisbon vs Porto - where to go? - read article
- Driving in Portugal - read article
- The best of the Algarve region - read article
- The highlights of Sintra and the Sintra-Cascais Nature park - read article
Planning a trip to Portugal?
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