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Photographer's Note

This is one of the many stained glass windows of the Monastery of Batalha, one of the most important Gothic monuments in Portugal. As far as I could investigate, these are from the early 16th century, but there are others that were made as early as 1430.

The monastery was built to commemorate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castillians in the Battle of Aljubarrota, which took place nearby in August 1385 and was decisive to end a succession war that became known in History as the 1383-1385 crisis. All started because the Portuguese king Fernando I died leaving only one legitimate daughter, who had married the Castillian king when his father was already about to die. This marriage was a strong argument to the union of Castilla and Portugal, the most powerful kingdoms of Iberia (Spain only appeared as a country 100 years later), something with which many Portuguese disagreed. The result was a civil war that looked much more like a war between Portugal and Castilla because the Portuguese who sided with the Castillian king were outnumbered and had much less military power by their own (that is, without the aid of the Castilla crown).

The construction began in 1386, only one year after the battle and went on until the early 16th century, when all the construction work stopped completely, leaving unfinished one of the most amazing parts, the Capelas Imperfeitas (Imperfect or Unfinished Chapels) still have no roof. The skilled masons, sculptors and the main architect were needed to build another jewel of the Portuguese architecture, the Jerónimos Monastery, which was built to commemorate the discovery of the maritime route to India by Vasco da Gama in 1497.

The monastery is classified as "World Heritage Site" since 1983.

WS's: #1- fountain in the cloister; #2- Capelas Imperfeitas (Imperfect or Unfinished Chapels).

For a closer look of the figures, see this post of atpires (who isn't my relative although we have the same family name).

Location (latitude, longitude): 39.65859,-8.82608

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Update 1-Mar-2009: I posted a photo of the main façade of the monastery.

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Additional Photos by Jose Pires (stego) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4422 W: 612 N: 7301] (24132)
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