Prince Henry the Navigator – The patron of Portuguese exploration rests in Batalha

A central figure in the early days of the Portuguese Empire and in the 15th-century European maritime discoveries and maritime expansion. Through his administrative direction, he is regarded as the main initiator of what would be known as the Age of Discovery. Henry was the fourth child of the Portuguese king John I.

The Monastery of Batalha, officially, known as the Monastery of Saint Mary of the Victory, it was erected in commemoration of the 1385 Battle of Aljubarrota. The burial church is one of the best and original examples of Late Flamboyant Gothic architecture in Portugal, intermingled with the Manueline style / Image source

Henry was responsible for the early development of Portuguese exploration and maritime trade with other continents through the systematic exploration of Western Africa, the islands of the Atlantic Ocean, and the search for new routes.

He encouraged his father to conquer the Muslim port on the North African coast across the Straits of Gibraltar from the Iberian Peninsula. He learned of the opportunities offered by the Saharan trade routes that terminated there, and became fascinated with Africa.

Prince Henry the Navigator’s tomb is near that of his parents, King John I and his wife Philippa of Lancaster, inside the Batalha Monastery, one of the most important Gothic sites in Portugal.

Tomb of Prince Henry the Navigator / Image source 

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