Alcobaça is known first of all by its abbey Santa Maria de Alcobaça. Founded in 1153 in honour of the victory over the Moors and finally completed in 1223, today it is the largest church in Portugal and one of the most prominent architectural monuments.
The abbey is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its excellent conservation status makes it the best example of Cistercian architecture in Europe. It is also the largest building of the Cistercian Order.
The complex is constructed in Gothic style, consists of five monasteries, seven bedrooms, libraries and a huge kitchen. Under the transverse gorge of the Gothic Cathedral, there is magnificent, decorated with many carvings the Tomb of King Pedro I and his beloved Ines de Castro (Portuguese Romeo and Julieta) – a testimony to one of the most tragic real love stories in Portugal.
In addition to this unique church, the small town of Alcobaça is famous as a centre of porcelain and ceramics production. Many shops are located around the central square, and factories organize for the visitors very interesting production demonstration.