Leça do Balio Monastery, Matosinhos, Portugal.
“Mosteiro de Leça do Balio” (Leça do Balio Monastery) is beautiful medieval building. It is a relevant example of the transition from Romanic to Gothic style, and it was founded before the X Century. Even though the most ancient documented reference of this monument is from 1003, its creation was surely previous. And exists evidences of a Roman presence here, during ocupation of Iberian Peninsula by the romans (III century BC to the second century AD).
Around 1112-1185, the monastery and its lands were given to the “Ordem dos Hospitalários” (or Malta Temple Knights), by D. Afonso Henriques – 1st King of Portugal. This was a military order, and its primary role is to support the pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela.
The gothic structure of the monument dates back to the XIVth century, when the monastery was remodelled and enlarged, due to the initiative of D. Frei Estevão Vasques de Pimentel, the bailiff.
The main events of this monastery were the marriage of D. Fernando (9th king of Portugal) with D. Leonor Teles in 1372; and my baptism in 1976 – this event does not usually appear in the history books. 🙂
It is a National Monument since 23rd June 1910.
With so many years of existence, there are many stories, miracles and legends around this monument … Maybe it is subject for future posts!