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If you go to Portugal you MUST have to visit the Abbey of Batlha!! It is realy amazing.
This wondrous building was constructed in memory of the important battle of Aljubarrota that occurred in 1385. Dom João I defeated the Castilians and ensuring two hundred years of virtual independence from Spanish invaders. When the King Dom Fernando I died without an heir to the throne it was claimed by both his illegitimate brother Dom João I and Juan de Castile of Spain on behalf of his wife. On the 14th of August of that year the outnumbered army of Dom João I commanded by an outstanding general, Nuno Álvares Pereira, faced the Spanish forces just south of the present site of the Abbey. It is said that on the eve of the battle Dom João made a vow to construct an unforgettable church in memory of the Virgin Mary should he succeed in battle the next day.
And this is the result of his vow.
The construction of the Abbey of Santa Maria da Vitória at Batalha commenced in 1388, and was later added to and enhanced by the various Portuguese Kings over these next two centuries. This imposing structure is an outstanding example of combined Gothic and Manueline architecture. Under its naves lies some of Portugal’s most historic personalities during that period. Here you will find resting the tombs of João I, his English wife Philippa of Lancaster, and their famous offspring, Prince Henry the Navigator whose efforts and determination helped to explore the then unknown world. In the Chapter house lie two unknown soldiers from World War I thus giving the Abbey a true military relationship to the 20th Century.

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Additional Photos by kik ko (kiks) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1482 W: 160 N: 1682] (12805)
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