Batalha is still little more than a village and, at the time of the monastery must have been a very small village - when I first visited it more than 20 years ago it was by no means as developed as it is now. A plaque beside the door to the church, which you can see in this image reads:
"The history of this building is linked to the desire of the town's residents for a parochial church. Following their requests, this desire was fulfilled, and construction of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross was completed in 1532. It displays baroque and revivalist architecture, and a Manueline entrance by the Master Boytac. The wooden roof of the nave collapsed in an earthquake in 1858, and works in 1908 allowed a new bell tower to be built, with a Manueline and baroque finish."
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