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Date: 26 Sep 2006 21:06:01
Title: Nazare & Batalha & Alcobaca

Date: 26-09-06     Time: 19:00 UTC      Position: 39:35.03N  009:04.52W   Name: Nazaré

Click here for English version;

Idag var vi turister på busstur til to steder i nærheten som er berømt (iallfall i Portugal) for sine enorme klostre og kirker. De står faktisk som nummer en og to i vår guidebok over ti ting man må se i Portugal. I Batalha (som betyr kamp) bygde kong Joâo en kloster til jomfru Maria etter at han lovet at han skulle gjøre det hvis han vant i krig over Spanjolene i 1385. Byggingen startet i 1388 og pågikk over flere århundre - og deler står fortsatt uferdig idag. Selve kirken er helt enorm og med sine 32m takhøyde gir det en ny betydning til "høyt under taket". Her ligger også gravplassen til Kong Joâo og Dronning Philippa av Lancaster og sine seks sønner - deriblant Henrik navigatøren (berømt for sine sjøferder).
 
En kort busstur til Alcobaca og en enda større kloster og kirke - Portugals største kirke. Litt mer konservativ i stil, men mye flott allikevel. Her hadde vi ikke så god tid - bare en time fra buss til buss og vi fikk da ikke sett så veldig mye mer enn selve klosteret og kirken.
 
Værmessig drog vi fra en litt tåkete Nazaré der valget stod mellom langbukse eller shorts - vi valgte shorts og var glad for det da vi kom inn i innlandet der tåke ikke kommer og varmen slo imot oss da vi kom ut fra bussen. Nå skal vi ut og spise middag siden vi ikke har krefter igjen etter så mye sightseeing til å lage mat selv. Dagens bilder fra kirken i Batalha.
 
The enormous and intricate door at Batalha
Den enorme og intrikate døra i Batalha
Stone carving work in great detail - again the Portuguese skills in stone working show thier roots.
Stein-arbied i utrolig detalj - Portugueserne viser at arbeid med stein ligger i genene. 

English version

Today we have been bus tourists, visiting two towns near Nazaré which have famous (at least in Portugal) monasteries and churches. In our "AA pocket guide to Portugal" they are number one and two on the list of top-ten places to see in Portugal. In Batalha (meaning battle in English), King Joâo promised to build a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary if he was victorious in a battle with the Castillians (Spaniards). The victory was duly accomplished in 1385 despite being greatly outnumbered, the construction starting in 1388. Building continued over two centuries, and bits were added on also later. A major part remains unfinished - perhaps the most impressive part with enormous and intricate stone carvings. The church part of the monastery is enormous - the nave is 80m long and has 32m under the roof. Here lies the tombs of King Joâo and his wife Queen Philippa of Lancaster, together with their six sons including Henry the Navigator (thus of extra interest to us sailors).
 
A short bus ride from there took us to Alcobaca where an even larger monastery and church (Portugals largest church) were built by king Alfonso in gratitude for a victory over the moors. The monastery was given to the Cisteen order. Gloriously spacious and in a simple style - in contrast to Batalha - the dimensions are impressive - particularly the enormous kitchens.
 
Due to the intricacies of the Portuguese bus system we could either spend one or three hours in Alcobaca, the one hour we opted for being just a little too short to see anything else than the monastery and church.
 
Weather-wise, we left a slightly foggy Nazaré in shorts and were pleased we had not opted for long trousers when we got away from the sea and into the countryside where the temperature was considerably higher. Today's pictures are from the church at Batalha.
 

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