Do you want to visit the World Heritage in Central Portugal? Search no further, as I’ve rounded up a complete list of the World Heritage in Central Portugal. From Tomar to Batalha – not to mention Alcobaça and Coimbra – get ready to discover unique, beautiful, and jaw-dropping sites!
The Central Region or Central Portugal (in Portuguese, Região do Centro or Região Centro) is a region located in central Portugal and its capital is the city of Coimbra. In addition, it’s the third most populous region in the country and the second largest, encompassing the Castelo Branco, Coimbra, and Leiria districts, and part of the Aveiro, Guarda, Santarém, and Viseu districts!
So, do you want to know more about the World Heritage In Central Portugal (2023)? Keep reading!
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World Heritage in Portugal
These are the 17 sites currently listed as World Heritage in Portugal:
- Alto Douro Wine Region (North)
- Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroismo in the Azores (Azores)
- Convent of Christ in Tomar (Center)
- Cultural Landscape of Sintra – Chalet of the Countess of Edla, Convent of the Capuchos, Moorish Castle, National Palace of Pena, National Palace of Sintra, Palace of Monserrate, Quinta da Regaleira, Villa Sassetti (Lisbon Metropolitan Area)
- Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (Alentejo)
- Historic Centre of Évora (Alentejo)
- Historic Centre of Guimarães (North)
- Historic Centre of Oporto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar (North)
- Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture (Azores)
- Laurisilva of Madeira (Madeira)
- Monastery of Alcobaça (Center)
- Monastery of Batalha (Center)
- Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon (Lisbon Metropolitan Area)
- Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley (North)
- Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (Tapada) (Lisbon Metropolitan Area)
- Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga (North)
- University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (Center)
As you can see, these seventeen sites listed as World Heritage in Portugal are distributed as follows:
- 5 in the North
- 4 in the Center
- 3 in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area
- 2 in Alentejo
- 2 in the Azores
- 1 in Madeira
World Heritage in Central Portugal
1. Convent of Christ (1983)
The Convent of Christ was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983, the first year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal, this is the only one located in Tomar municipality and in the Santarém district.
The monument began to be built in 1160 and originally belonged to the Knights Templar. However, as the works lasted more than five centuries, the Convent of Christ presents a mixture of different architectural styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Manueline, Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque.
Read my complete guide to the Convent of Christ, one of the sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal!
2. Monastery of Batalha (1983)
The Monastery of Batalha was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1983, the first year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal, this is the only one located in the Batalha municipality, in the Leiria district.
Also called the Monastery of Saint Mary of the Victory, this temple is the result of the Portuguese victory over the Castilians in the Battle of Aljubarrota, which was fought on August 14th, 1385. Considered one of the best examples of Manueline architecture, it was elected one of the 7 Wonders of Portugal in 2007.
Read my complete guide to the Monastery of Batalha, one of the sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal!
3. Monastery of Alcobaça (1989)
The Monastery of Alcobaça was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1989, the third year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal, this is the only one located in the Alcobaça municipality, in the Leiria district.
Even so, the best elements of the Monastery of Alcobaça are the tombs of King Pedro I and Inês de Castro, the protagonists of the most famous (and tragic) Portuguese love story. Located in the south and north wings of the Church’s transept (respectively), they are true masterpieces of Gothic sculpture.
Read my complete guide to the Monastery of Alcobaça, one of the sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal!
4. University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (2013)
The University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2013, the eleventh year in which the country had nominations approved. Of the four sites listed as World Heritage in Central Portugal, this is the only one located in the Coimbra municipality and district.
The University of Coimbra is the oldest in Portugal, having been first established in Lisbon (in 1290) and permanently transferred to Coimbra (in 1537)! Located on a hill in the old town, the University of Coimbra – Alta e Sofia has more than thirty buildings recognized by UNESCO:
- Boiler House
- Botanical Garden
- Chemistry Laboratory
- Coimbra Student Union
- College and Church of Our Lady of Grace
- College and Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel
- College of Jesus
- College of Saint Augustine or of the Sapience (New College)
- College of Saint Benedict
- College of Saint Bonaventure
- College of Saint Jerome
- College of Saint Peter
- College of Saint Rita
- College of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Palace of Justice)
- College of the Holy Spirit
- College of the Quarry
- College of the Trinity
- Department of Mathematics
- Department of Physics and Chemistry
- Faculty of Letters
- Faculty of Medicine
- Former College of Arts – Inquisition
- General Library
- Machado de Castro National Museum
- Melos’ House
- Monastery and Church of the Holy Cross
- Old Cathedral of Coimbra
- Royal College of Arts
- Sub-Ripas Palace
- University Archive
- University Palace
- University Press
Map of the World Heritage in Central Portugal
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What Photography Gear Do I Use?
- Camera Body: Fujifilm X-T4 Mirrorless (Silver)
- Camera Lens: Fujinon XF 18-55 mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
- Tripod: Manfrotto Compact Action
- Small Tripod: Manfrotto PIXI Mini
- Smartphone Adaptor: Manfrotto PIXI Clamp
- Memory Card: SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO SDXC
This blog post uses stock photographs (Getty Images)