Church and Monastery of Alcobaça | Portugal

Cistercian Abbey of Alcobaça (church and monastery); Portugal

The Roman Catholic church and monastery in Alcobaça is often overlooked by tourists. The Cistercian Abbey of Alcobaça is one of the first Gothic churches built in Portugal. The town is also famous for another reason – a sweet liqueur made from cherries called “Ginja“.

Cistercian Abbey of Alcobaça

Before we talk about liqueur, let’s first cover the sacrum… As we mentioned, the medieval Gothic church and monastery of Alcobaça are one of the oldest buildings of this type in Portugal. What’s more, due to its historical and cultural importance, the abbey was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. That was also the reason why Nico wanted to take a picture of this building and add it to his collection of UNESCO monument photos. The Cistercian monastery was founded as early as 1147 by order of the first king of Portugal, Alfonso I the Conqueror. Unfortunately, the monks were forced to leave the monastery after the decree on the abolition of all Portuguese religious orders which was passed in 1834.

Now let’s get back to the more mundane topic of Ginja. When Nico and I visited Alcobaça, there was a fair going on at the time and many local producers of this liqueur were displaying their wares. What more to say… everyone should try this drink at least once in his life. Spoiler: ginja is often served in glasses with cherries on the bottom, which are soaked in alcohol. Admittedly, it’s delicious, but after a few of these, it can make your head spin ? .

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