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Alcobaça is a small town that has become notable for its 12th century Monastery of Alcobaça (Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça). It is one of the most magnificent gothic monuments in Portugal.
The monks who lived here dedicated their lives to religious meditation and creating manuscripts. They produced the largest medieval library of Portugal, but this was pillaged by the French 1810. The remnants of the library have been moved to the National Library in Lisbon.
In the 13th and 14th century many royals were buried here, the most important ones were Kings Afonso II and Afonso III. The tombs that are most famous are those of King Pedro I and his mistress Inês de Castro. Inês was murdered on the orders of Pedro’s father, King Afonso IV, but once Pedro was crowned as king he commissioned two magnificent Gothic tombs for himself and his mistress.