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Mosteiro de Alcobaça

At the junction of two small rivers on a former frontier, Cistercian monks used know-how, determination & prayer to create the most influential monastery in all of Portugal.

Afonso Henriques had no greater desire than to rule as the first king of Portugal. This lifelong quest drew him into battle with his mother, created warfare with Muslims & sparked a desire to get in good with the Vatican. Besides donating large sums of gold to the Catholic church, Afonso Henriques granted land —a whopping 44,000 hectares all the way out to the Atlantic Ocean— to the most popular religious order of his day: the Cistercians.

Once the Pope officially recognized this new kingdom, monks began to construct a church in Alcobaça… still the largest & tallest in Portugal. They also brought advancements in hydraulic engineering to divert rivers, new techniques for managing agriculture & developed a method to make beautiful statuary from abundant terracotta. Their efforts translated into power & influence over the course of almost 700 years.

As a royal pantheon, generations of kings who followed Afonso Henriques left their mark on the monastery. But no story matches that of star-crossed lovers King Pedro & Ines. This passionate & tragic love story mixes court intrigue, hanky panky, murder & revenge… it’s like a mini-series set in the 1300s! Serving as inspiration for romantic writers ever since, the tombs of Pedro & Inês are also testaments to Gothic sculpture.

Following a detailed & well-illustrated historical introduction, this guide contains the most accurate map of the monastery available. The walking route discusses monastic life, tells the passionate & tragic love story of Pedro & Inês, & ponders the future of the entire complex. Design has been optimized for handheld devices: tablets of all sizes & even cell phones. Our crisp & clean look is easy to use as can be seen in the screen captures below.

Endless Mile, Alcobaça, PDF, guide, guidebook, handguide
  • Format: PDF, A5 portrait, 83 pages (file size 9.6 Mb). Designed for digital viewing. Released Apr 2020, updated Feb 2024. This guide may not be redistributed or resold.
  • Duration: This visit should take less than two hours. Reading the history section before entering is highly recommended.
  • Price: US $5.99 via PayPal (taxes included). Click “return to merchant” to download the PDF file after payment is confirmed. A thank-you email will also be sent with our contact information if you need assistance.

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Endless Mile, Buenos Aires, domes, cúpulas

No worries. We’ve made our guide to Domes of Buenos Aires available free of charge. Although you’ll be visiting Alcobaça, this 30-page, map-based PDF (file size 3.6 Mb) allows you to examine the general structure, layout & writing style of all Endless Mile guides. Some features of this & every Endless Mile guide are: a brief historical background, a summary of architectural styles & lots of original artwork. Take a look!