Wednesday saw me travel back up to the middle of Portugal (by bus this time) to visit two monasteries on one day. I realise that taking a day trip from Lisbon (two hours each way) is rather perverse, but after a lot of on-line bus and train timetable interogation, I worked out that it wouldn’t actually save any time or money to stay in the region and besides, I really liked my hostel in Lisbon!
My first stop was this monastery, founded by the king in the 12th century and described by the UN as a masterpiece of Gothic Cistercian art.
The church contains the 14th century tombs of King Pedro I and his mistress/wife (she was one then the other) Ines de Castro who was murdered for political reaons on the orders of Pedro’s father, whilst the latter was still on the throne. It would appear that his father thought her Castilian relatives were gaining too much influence over the crown prince. Pedro’s revenge, on taking the throne, included killing her killers in a suitably gory fashion (one of the tombs includes a carving of one of them about to have his heart torn out) and erecting these tombs. Ines’ tomb is supported on effigies of her killers:
Alongside the church there are the usual monastic buildings, including a huge communal dormitory:
and a kitchen with an enormous huge 18th century chimney:
The church facade has the original Gothic door and rose window with 18th century towers:
And this is today’s Lego model: