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Stretching 327 feet in length, the interior of the church is an exquisite example of Cistercian Gothic architecture.
Cistercian Alcobaça Monastery remains the largest church in Portugal

By • Catholic Online • 9/9/2011

Facing the Moors in an important battle at Santarém in March 1147, Afonso Henríques vowed that he would build a great monastery if God granted him victory. After winning the battle and becoming the first Portuguese king, Afonso founded the Monastery of St. Mary at Alçobaca in 1153 and gave ...


The monastery remains breathtaking today. The west façade is covered in lacy stonework, filled with Gothic windows and overlooks a spacious plaza. The building is illuminated at night to spectacular effect.
Batalha Monastery stands as magnificent example of Gothic architecture

By • Catholic Online • 9/7/2011

In 1385, Portuguese King João I made a sacred vow. He offered petition to God that if his outnumbered army defeated the Castilians at the important Battle of Aljubarrota, he would build a magnificent monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The king was victorious. Portugal was freed from Spain, and ...


The Palace of Holyroodhouse suffered long periods of neglect, but enjoyed brief glory in the mid-18th century as the headquarters of Bonnie Prince Charlie during the peak of his feverish -- and doomed -- rebellion to restore the Stuart line to the monarchy.
Holyrood Palace and Abbey remain a breathtaking ruin, steeped in history

By • Catholic Online • 8/31/2011

Holyrood Palace, which is also called the Palace of Holyroodhouse is in Edinburgh, and is the primary royal residence in Scotland. The palace was built next the Augustinian Holyrood Abbey. The palace itself has several fascinating historical sights, steeped in bloodshed and drama involving ...


For many, air travel has become synonymous with dissatisfaction.
Top 10 airlines striving to be the worst

By • Catholic Online • 8/29/2011

Airlines have worked hard to earn a bad reputation. Remember those veterans returning from Afghanistan who were charged extra just to haul their equipment? How about the passenger who reported his baggage soaked in urine? Even if you don't remember those horror stories from earlier this year, you ...


Peaceful and beautiful, Iona features rock-strewn meadows leading into sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters. Only a few structures dot the landscape.
Iona Abbey influential in the spread of Celtic Christianity throughout Europe

By • Catholic Online • 8/24/2011

St. Columba founded the Iona Abbey in 6th century Scotland. Located on a small island less than four square miles, the abbey was highly influential in the spread of Celtic Christianity from its inception. It remains a popular pilgrimage site among the faithful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ...


The beauty of the carved work, with which the abbey is profusely decorated, is seldom equaled, and has been deservedly celebrated by poets over the years.
Scotland's Melrose Abbey lies in ruins after reformation

By • Catholic Online • 8/19/2011

Melrose Abbey, a Cistercian abbey in the Borders region of Scotland is now little more than picturesque ruins. Founded in 1136, it is said to enshrine the heart of Robert the Bruce. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The abbey was originally founded at Melrose around the end of the 6th century ...


The St. Andrews Sarcophagus is an important example of late Pictish sculpture and a beautiful work of art.
Ruins of St. Andrew's Cathedral tells history of Scotland

By • Catholic Online • 8/17/2011

The ruins of St. Andrew's Cathedral overlooks the North Sea in St. Andrews. In addition to the Norman and Gothic ruins of the medieval cathedral, the site also includes St. Rule's Tower and a museum containing an important Pictish sarcophagus. In many ways, the story of the cathedral is the story ...


The facade of the convent centers on a statue of St. Teresa.
The Convent of St. Teresa is a testament to the Spanish's nun reform, asceticism

By • Catholic Online • 8/12/2011

The Convent of St. Teresa is one of two main destinations for Catholic pilgrims to Ávila in Spain. The 17th-century convent was built after the canonization of St. Teresa over the house where she was born. It contains her relics in a small museum. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A major ...


The most important part of the basilica is the Lady Chapel, near the entrance in the west end. Destroyed in 1798 by French invaders, and rebuilt in 1817, above the chapel's altar is the Black Madonna, resplendent in rich robes and surrounded by gold clouds.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Einsiedeln holds miraculous statue

By • Catholic Online • 8/12/2011

The Shrine of Our Lady of Einsiedeln is located about 20 miles southeast of Zürich, in the town of the same in Switzerland. The shrine is perhaps best known for its miraculous Black Madonna statue. The village itself is also home to the world's largest nativity scene, the Diorama Bethlehem. ...


The convent's library contains more than 130,000 volumes, including precious manuscripts dating back to the 8th through the 15th centuries. The famous Plan of St. Gallen Abbey can be seen in a glass case.
Library at the Abbey of St. Gall is one of the richest medieval libraries in the world

By • Catholic Online • 8/9/2011

From its founding in the 8th century until its dissolution in 1805, The Convent of St Gall, in the eastern Swiss city of St. Gallen was one of the most important Benedictine monasteries in Europe. Considered a perfect example of a great Carolingian monastery, it's recognized as the finest ...





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