Political context prior to the Battle of Aljubarrota
The death of the king D.Fernando I in 1383 and the Treaty of Salvaterra de Magos signed in April of that same year between the queen Leonor Teles, the Count João Andeiro and the King of Castile determined that the Crown of Portugal would belong to the descendents of the King of Castile.
The Kingdom of Castile would therefore inevitably dominate Portugal. As a result, this situation left the majority of the Portuguese discontent.
Looking back at the political crisis from 1383 to 1385, it is possible to ascertain that its roots were in the dissatisfaction felt by the population, due to the deterioration of the living conditions of the majority of the population, but also when faced with the possibility that the independence of the Kingdom of Portugal could be at stake.
This desire for change grew when Leonor Teles and her allies wanted a political solution for Portugal, which not only was legally questionable, as well as clearly dissatisfying to the majority of the Portuguese population.
In light of these circumstances, the population of Lisbon proclaims D. João, Master of Avis, half brother of D. Fernando, as "ruler, governor and defender of the kingdom".
The revolt of the Portuguese population is felt in several areas and cities of the Kingdom.
In 1384, the King of Castile comes to Portugal, at the request of D. Leonor Teles. Between February and October the city of Lisbon is besieged, by land and sea, with the support of the Castilian fleet.
This tactic does not work, not only due to the determination of the Portuguese forces, but also because Lisbon was properly walled and defended.
Therefore, in March and April of 1385 the Courts of Coimbra were summoned to proclaim The Master of Avis, King of Portugal.
On the 8 July, 1385 D. Juan I, once again invades Portugal, through Almeida, with a large army of 40.000 men, moving then to Trancoso, Celorico da Beira, Coimbra, Soure and Leiria.
In the meantime, the Castilian army besieges Lisbon through sea, in April of that year.
The Portuguese army, commanded by General Nuno Álvares Pereira gets into position for combat, at that point the Battle was inevitable.
The Portuguese army constituted of approximately 7.000 dismounted cavalry, then moved two kilometres south and inverted its battle position to face the enemy front.
At the battlefield, the Portuguese sustained looses of approximately 1.000, while the Castilian army, approximately 4.000 and 5.000 prisoners.
Outside the Battlefield, in the days following the battle, the Portuguese population killed 5.000 men of arms fleeing from the Castilian army.
Due to the political consequence of the Battle and to the numerous noblemen and men of arms lost, Castile mourned for a period of two years.
For Europe, the Battle of Aljubarrota proved to be one of the most important battles of the medieval ages. For Portugal, this battle, which occurred in the plateau of São Jorge on the 14th of Augusto, 1385, was one of the most decisive events of its History.
Had this battle never occurred, the small Portuguese kingdom would have probably been absorbed forever by its Castilian neighbour.
The Portuguese victory in Aljubarrota also allowed for preparation of a period that would prove to be the most brilliant of national history – the period of the Discoveries – which would have simply not occurred any other way.
The Battle of Aljubarrota definitely afforded a consolidation of national identity that until then was merely in stages of formation, and allowed future Portuguese generations the possibility of asserting themselves as a free and independent nation.
BATLE OF ALJUBARROTA INTERPRETATION CENTRE
In de Interpretation Centre, the history of Batle of Aljubarrota is presented in attractive way.
The discovery of this theme happens in 3 interactive rooms, where it is possible travel back in time and find traps and bones of fighters with over 600 years as well as handling replica weapons of the time.
The highlight of this visit is recreating the Battle of Aljubarrota in a breathtaking multimedia show!
The visitors have the opportunity also to explore the Battle of Aljubarrota battlefield and learn about the most important facts.
These main landmarks include the locations where the Portuguese army and the Franco/Castilian army were initially located; the place where Nuno Álvares Pereira, D. João I, the English archers and the ‘ala dos namorados’ (the name given to the right flank of the Portuguese army during the battle) were positioned.
Visit in the Tours:
Winter hours, from October to April:
10.00am. to 5.30p.m.
Summer hours, from May to September:
10.00am. to 7.00pm.
Last seen: 1 hour before closing
Monday, Holidays on December 25, January 1 and May 1
Estimated time to visit: 1hr.
The Multimedia Show:
Over 6 years old.
Translation available in English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese and Italian.
Adult ticket (18-64 years) – 7 euros
Youths (13-17 years) - 5 euros
Seniors (over 65 years) – 5 euros
Youths accompanied with parents (6-12 years) – 3,50 euros
Child (< 5 years) - free
Audioguide: Portuguese and other languages - 3 euros
*Prices are subject to alterations without prior notice, please confirm prices in the official website and for combined tickets.
You have the possibility to visit the Interpretation Centre in the Full Day Tour Óbidos/Nazaré/Alcobaça/Batalha, without additional costs to the total price of the Tour, only being charged the tickets to enter the center, paid on site directly. The visit will be on the path of Alcobaça / Batalha. The knowledge of the real difficulty of Portugal to overcome this phase in its history, helps to better understand the megalomania of the construction of the Monastery of Batalha, must consider the visit to the center.