Royal cloister of the Monastery of Batalha - The Traveller


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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Royal cloister of the Monastery of Batalha

In the small town of Batalha is one of the nicest, if not the most beautiful Gothic monuments of Portuguese, the Monastery of Batalha. This monastery, a symbol of Portugal's independence vis-à-vis Castilian, was built around the Royal Cloister, the cloister of Dom Joao I, John I of Portugal. In this new article on the monastery, we therefore present this court, attended by monks until the nineteenth century, where Art is Manueline all its glory.

The Monastery of Batalha is built around the Royal Cloister, with the church on one side, the other buildings sharing the other side of this court each 50m square. Surrounded by pointed arches arranged on one floor, the first architect of the cloister is Afonso Domingues, the creator of the architectural task of the monastery. From him, we keep the site began in 1386 and the first two galleries of the cloister.

The work will then be completed by Master David Huguet, who introduced the country in the Flamboyant Gothic, then by Martim Vasques, and finalized in 1515 in Art by Mateus Fernandes Manueline, during the reign of King Dom Manuel I, which corresponds at the height of the Portuguese Empire.

Each gallery surrounding the cloister is composed of seven pointed arches, richly decorated with plant motifs and royal emblems of Dom Manuel: Cross of Christ and armillary spheres. On the north side lays the basin of the Dominicans, where the monks were washing their hands, decorated by Diogo Boitaca. There is no unity between the various galleries; each is a discovery in itself.

Before the Chapter House is situated on the ground, dates of death of the Dominican friars. Each stone is dated to a tomb, like the Bishop of Ceuta. The Royal Cloister is very different from the cloister Afonso V, which we already presented, it is more modest: it was a convent school, the more refined charm.


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