ARCHITECT, Portuguese
(active after 1178 in Portugal)

Interior view

after 1178
Cistercian abbey church, Alcobaça (Portugal)

The Cistercian abbey church in Alcobaça had been founded in 1153 by the first Portuguese king, Alfonso I Henriques (1139-1185). The original church was replaced from 1178 by the present new building. Construction, however, progressed slowly as the monks had to abandon Alcobaça again temporarily because of an attack by the Moors. consequently several building phases can be easily distinguished. The final consecration occurred in 1252.

The church is based on several French Cistercian models. The church and monastery were the first Gothic buildings in Portugal.

The photo shows the nave. In contrast to the basilica-style choir, the nave and the transept are halls with cross-ribbed vaults and with aisles about as high as the nave, for which there were no models in Cistercian architecture.

View the ground plan of the Cistercian abbey church, Alcobaça.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.