In 1385, King Joao I vowed that if his outnumbered army defeated the Castilians at the important Battle of Aljubarrota, he would build a magnificent monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The king was victorious, resulting in the independence of Portugal from Spain and the great Batalha Monastery.
King Joao I gave the monastery to the Dominicans and the splendid edifice was constructed over the next two centuries in the Gothic and Manueline styles. Along with all other monasteries in Portugal, Batalha was dissolved in 1834.
Batalha Monastery was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1983 because it commemorates an important historical event and "here a highly original, national Gothic style evolved, profoundly influenced by Manueline art, as demonstrated by its masterpiece, the Royal Cloister."
June 2nd, 2013
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