15 Dec 2017 171 views
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photoblog image Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça
Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça|

Mosteiro de Santa Maria de Alcobaça


The founding of the Monastery of Alcobaça, located in central Portugal, is closely associated with the beginning of the Portuguese monarchy. When Afonso Henriques was proclaimed King Alfonso I in 1139, he based his political reconquest on the Crusaders and on religious orders. Alcobaça was given to the Cistercians in recognition of their support to the conquest of Santarem (1152) with the understanding that they would colonise and work the surrounding lands.


This place is big, very big. In this picture one sees the front-end. Imagine a square where this front-end is one of four sides of the monastry. Behind this facade is hidden huge cloisters, sleeping quarters, a spectacular kitchen, etc. At one time the monastry housed 999 monks. Religious orders were banned in 1835 and for a long time this place just stood empty and some vandalous damage occurred.


It is a World Heritage site and is put to use in various ways, e.g. conferences. 


The panorama was the only way that I could capture all of the front-end, in one go. I tried to straighten the picture, including the use of Shift-N, but it all just result in the picture getting smaller and a loss of quality.


The next number of pictures will feature the monastry.



comments (17)

  • Martine
  • France
  • 15 Dec 2017, 00:17
C'est magnifique, j'aime l'architecture.
Louis: En effet, magnifique. Merci, Martine.
What a beautiful building! You did well to fit it all in, Louis!
Louis: Thank you, Elizabeth. The bridge has two pano functions. The one used here and another one, that will require stitching afterwards. Maybe the stitching would have provided better results.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 15 Dec 2017, 03:41
Fine shot of a seriously impressive structure, Louis.
Louis: Thank you, Ray. There are a number of such big monasteries all over Portugal. I visited this one and the one I have featured as part of Lisbon. Some others I have seen at a distance and one very superficially. All these facilities were abandoned with the disbanding of religious orders in 1835. Making apartment buildings (with house size apartments), concert halls, hotels in one or various of these buildings are all possibilities - but they stand empty, bar occasional use. I believe Portugal is going through a period of rebuilding and rediscovering itself - then maybe something useful will happen to these buildings.
This is when the pano option is a no-brainer, Louis. I'm not sure it could have been done better!
Louis: Thank you, Ginnie. The bridge has two pano functions. The one used here and another one, that will require stitching afterwards. Maybe the stitching would have provided better results.
  • Chris
  • Not Nowhere
  • 15 Dec 2017, 06:49
This is a brilliant image Louis, the slight curve of the building is excellent. Shift-N would have ruined that. It's pleasing to know the place has found a new use for itself
Louis: Thank you Chris. Well, the earth is round and everything being straight is probably an illusion smile
Great panoramic shot. I am looking forward to more...
Louis: Thank you Larry, there will be more ...
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 15 Dec 2017, 07:23
een heel mooi gebouw - en een fijne foto!
Louis: Dankjewel, Philine. Ja, 't is een bijzondere gebouw.
  • gutteridge
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 15 Dec 2017, 08:01
The lens bends helps to illustrate the scale of this place Louis. Portugal certainly has some grand architecture.
Louis: Yes, the place is so big, it has to follow the curve of the earth smile They have architecture from BC right up to modern day - it is impressive.
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 15 Dec 2017, 08:01
I didn't know there were ever monasteries which housed so many monks, Louis
Louis: There are similar monasteries in other parts of Portugal, Lisl, but I think that this one housed most monks.
It is certainly a fine building and a very good panorama. Even Shift-N would struggle with this as you found out.
Louis: Thank you Brian - in the end the file size becomes a problem - so I let it go.
Amazing shot to get that all in.
Louis: Thank you Mary
I like this, Louis, I think the curve adds to it.
Louis: Thank you Frank - I just have to get used to it.
It is an impressive building Louis. lightroom is good for stitching panos
Louis: The way the camera produces it in this mode, is a finished product. I should probably have used the other pano mode that allows for stitching.
your panorama turned out great Louis... i would leave the curve over loosing the quality of the image...
thanks for the history of the Monastery....petersmile
Louis: Thank you peter. Well it seems that most SC'ers support the curve over quality loss.
Imagine how many people must have been in there - just to keep it going!
Louis: The size of the place just boggles the mind. You put this building down in NY or London and convert to apartments - you will make a fortune. And - as you know there are many such buildings in Portugal.
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 17 Dec 2017, 09:46
This is beautiful and I think you did a great job not to do too much with it and show the whole stretch. That is quite the building.
Louis: Big, very big, Astrid.
i quite like the final result, Louis. i would like a view of the towers and close up of the door arch.
Louis: I was wondering what to post for Monday - now I know.

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camera COOLPIX P500
exposure mode shutter priority
shutterspeed 1/1500s
aperture f/3.5
sensitivity ISO160
focal length 4.5mm
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