Life in Batalha revolves around a single structure of epic proportions, a truly monolithic sight: the Batalha Monastery (Moisteiro da Batalha), or Monastery of the Battle. With intricate stone latticework decorating the exterior, ornately carved stone ceiling that soars overhead, and high Gothic style steeples, Batalha’s monastery is a masterpiece. In the hush, the sound of flowing water can be heard coming from a massive stone fountain in the courtyard. Renowned Portuguese figureheads are entombed in these great halls, colored by streams of daylight through the stained-glass windows, adding majesty to reverence.
Batalha itself is small compared to the monastery it is famous for, but not without its treasures. Lush gardens adorn corners of cobbled sidewalks and vines hang lazily from private balconies. Small outdoor cafes pop up pale green umbrellas for the sunny lunch hour. A few more luxurious restaurants serve up elegant takes on traditional Portuguese pork, rice, and beans as twilight sets in and admirers of the monastery take a rest from long wanderings.
A short drive from the edge of Batalha, Portugal’s wine country beckons, but the monastery has a magnetic quality. Visitors are drawn back to its hallowed halls time and time again to admire Portugal’s tribute of triumph, a monument to history and beauty.
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