ARCHITECT, Portuguese
(active 1178-1252 in Alcobaça)

Interior view

Cistercian Monastery, Alcobaça (Portugal)

The building of the monastery began in 1178, some 25 years after the arrival of the Cistercian monks in the Alcobaça region. Initially, the monks lived in wooden houses, and only moved to the new stone monastery buildings in 1223. The church was completed in 1252. The finished church and monastery were the first truly Gothic buildings in Portugal, and the church was the largest in Portugal.

Monasteries were places of peace and order in the disturbed medieval society, organized round a routine of liturgy, work, study, and regular meetings, in which a man could spend his whole life. In the refectory, during meals a monk read from the raised pulpit.

The photo shows an interior view of the refectory.

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