Worth-seeing

Too much to mention!

Maybe the main reason why the Costa de Prata is so renowned, is the huge number and quality of things to see and do.

The vast beaches, remarkable nature, special museums, historic cities and monastries, picturesque villages. It's really too much to mention but we try anyway.

Sub categories

World Heritages

World Heritages

No Less than 6 Portuguese World Hertitage sites are located in this region

  1. Monastry of Alcobaça
  2. Monastry of Batalha
  3. Cultural landscape of Sintra
  4. Convent of Christ in Tomar
  5. University of Coimbra
  6. Royal Building of Mafra (Palace, Basilica, Convent, Garden and Hunting Park)
View items...
Exciting caves

Exciting caves

Spectacular caves

In the nature park of Serra de Aire e dos Candeeiros you can visit several caves. All three give you a spectacular view below the surface of the earth. Some locations look extra special because of the stunning lighting. On a regular basis exhibitions are organised inside the caves.

These are the caves:

  • Grutas Alvados/ San Antonio
  • Grutas da Moeda
  • Grutas Mira d’Aire


The latter won the price 'Natural wonder of Portugal'.

View items...
Special museums

Special museums

From Buddha to Dino

Not only the Costa de Prata offers many historical buildings, there are also lots of interesting museums and sculpture parks. Often surprisingly modern and multimedial.

Indoor museums, open air exhibitions, excavations, you name it and its there. How about dinossaur footprints or the impressive Buddha Eden park?

View items...
Cosy markets

Cosy markets

A unforgettable experience

Going to a market in the Silver Coast is a experience not easy to forget; a big difference with the markets in the UK is that you can buy almost anything you want. Clothes (casual but also costumes) and shoes till tools, rugs, distilling kettles, horse saddles and living animals like chickens, rabbits and puppies.  

View items...
Nature and Culture

Nature and Culture

To enjoy!

Both nature- and culture lovers won´t miss a thing in this region. Naturepark Serra d’Aire e Candeeiros for instance is 400 km2 large and a real paradise for hikers and mountain-bikers. The large amount of historical buildings and cities, de farmers markets, the (fado) concerts and museums making the Portuguese culture palpable.

View items...

Remarkable garden is place for reconciliation

The Buddha Eden Garden is an area of about 35 hectares designed and conceived by Comendador José Berardo in response to the destruction of the Giant Bamyan Buddhas, sculpted in the rocks of the valley of Bamyan in central Afghanistan and which had for centuries been a cultural and spiritual reference.

Comendador Berardo was profoundly shocked by the attitude of the Taliban Government, which intentionally destroyed these unique monuments of World Heritage, considered acts of cultural barbarism which attempted to erase from memory the art of the late Gandhara period.

In 2001, in response to this loss he initiated another of his dreams, the creation of an extensive oriental garden in honour of those colossal Buddhas.

It is intended that the Buddha Eden Garden is a place of reconciliation. Without any religious tendency, it opens its doors, to all people of all religion, ethnicity, nationality, sex, age, and socio-cultural background, inviting all to come together, to communicate and meditate, to rest and rediscover happiness. Hopefully people will follow a path contrary to the destruction of humankind and the dissemination of culture.

The monastry Santa Maria de Vitória is Portuguese late gothic and manuelino masterpiece

On 15 August 1385 a battle started at Aljubarrota between the Castilian army and the Portuguese army lead by Nuno Álvares Pereira. On the square you see his statue. Mainly with help of English archers the Spanish army was defeated, and Portuguese independence could be maintained.

The first king, João, promised to build a monastryto thank the Virgin Mary for the Portuguese victory.

Many architects were involved in the construction, reason why the buildings have 3 different styles: late gothic, manuelino and renaissance. In the cloisters is the monument for unknown soldiers who died in the first world war. Every hour you can see the the change of the guards.

Together with Alcobaça and Tomar, Batalha forms the Golden Triangle of abbeys in the Costa de Prata (Silvercoast). These three monastries are on Unesco’s World Heritage list.

The municipal museum of Batalha was opened in 2011. It was founded to support the cultural heritage of the village. The museum has some interactive features, and takes you on a journey through the past to the present.
In the historical archives you can also see the excavations of the Roman city of Collipo, that once was built in the Batalha area.

Enter...

In these 'brother caves' you can admire thousands of stalactites and stalacmites

Although the Santo António caves were discovered in 1955, and the Alvados caves in 1964, they are always mentioned together. They are very close to each other, but they are very different.

The Santo António caves have a monumental hall with small waterways and natural lakes, completely filled with stalactites and stalagmites. The Alvados caves have endless corridors which unexpectedly open to small halls and several natural lakes, the many tunnels interrupted by deep “Algares” which is very specific for this region.

 

The history of the monastry, a lovestory

The Real Abadia (royal abbey) de Santa Maria is in many ways the heart of Alcobaça.

It all started when King Afons I promised to give some land to saint Bernard if he would succeed in conquering the city of Santarém from the Moors. He succeeded in 1147, and in 1178 the Cistercians started building the monastry, and finished it some 45 years later. Soon it became the most important cistercian monastry in Portugal. Both church and monastry are originally gothic buildings. Later new parts were added to the monastry in different styles, like the 2 baroque towers.

Originally the complex was much bigger, but the earthquake of 1755, and the occupation by the French early 19th century, destroyed large parts of the monastry. What remained however is still a large complex, partly open to the public. A visit is certainly worthwhile, you can see things like the cloisters, the lavatory, the impressive kitchen, the dormitory, etc.

A lovestory

In the church lie the remains of Pedro I and Inês de Castro, each in their own tomb. Their love story is the most famous story in Portugal.
Pedro, son of Afonso IV, was about to marry the galician Constança. She arrived at the Portuguese court together with her maid of honour Inês. Pedro and Inês fell totally in love with eachother. This worried Afonso IV so much he decided to send Inês back to Burgos. Pedro and Constança got married, but Pedro could not forget Inês.

When Constança died in 1345, Pedro and Inês reunited, and the secretly got married. Together they hd 4 children. Afonso IV however still could not accept their love, and ordered Inês to be killed in 1355: she was decapitated by hitmen. Pedro was furious and wanted revenche. After his accession to the throne in 1357 he immediately ordered the hitman, who fled to Galicia, to be extradicted. After they arrived in Santarém Pedro demanded them to be tortured until death, and put their bodies on display afterwards.

In 1361 Pedro ordered Inês' body to be balmed, dressed as a queen, and put her on a throne next to him at the cathedral. All members of the nobility and the assembly were forced to kiss her hand, and by that Inês was posthumously crowned. Then her royal body was brought to Alcobaça and placed in a sarcophagus. On Pedro's command his own sarcophagus was put opposite of Inês so that when they both rise on judgment day, the first thing they see will be each other.

Life in the monastry of Alcobaça

Enter...

www.mosteiroalcobaca.pt

Page 1 of 3