North to Obidos, Alcobaca, and Batalha

Traveling north from Sintra you come to the walled town of Obidos. From a distance, it looks like it comes out of the middle ages with whitewashed houses and tile roofs snuggly set within the still imposing walls of the town. Entering through a tile coated gate house, you are presented with the town that Portuguese Kings give to their brides as a wedding gift. obidos1.jpg (17834 bytes)


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obidos3.jpg (81812 bytes) Tiles inside the Gatehouse leading into the Town of Obidos.

From Obidos, you will drive north and west to the City of Alcobaca, home to the monastery of Saint Mary, on a beautiful town square. We really enjoyed exploring this town on foot and in fact, found a wonderful winery museum here to visit.

This is the Saint Mary monastery of Alcobaca. Built in 1152 and became one of the riches and prestigious in all of Europe. Afonso Henriques praying for a win over the Moors vowed that if he defeated them at Santarem, he would build this for St. Bernard of Clairvaux who inspired many crusaders into battle against the Moors. A 327 foot nave and a 70 foot vaulted ceiling is what stands out here. alcobaca.jpg (16642 bytes)


virgin.jpg (19367 bytes) The Monastery of the Virgin Mary is located in Batalha, 73 miles north of Lisbon. Built in 1385.  Joao I, vowed on the plains of Aljubarrota that if his outnumbered army defeated the invading Spanish Castillions, he would commemorate his indebtedness to the Virgin Mary. Designed in the Gothic and Manueline style is is famous for its stone carvings and its stained glass windows. Here is the tombs of the King and Queen and their son, Prince Henry the Navigator.


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To Continue Your Tour to:
Nazare and Tomar, Home of the Knights Templars

Back to Sanborns Trip to Portugal Main Page

Email: Robert Sanborn, at:
All are scanned images Pat's Photographs. Copyright 1998, 2001
Page Last Revised: January 26, 2001.