In no other country in Europe to Cistercian exerted so undeniable and lasting influence in Portugal.
Tarouca and Lafões are among the first Cistercian monasteries in Portugal. Followed them Santa Maria de Alcobaça, which soon became the most important Cistercian monastery in our territory and one of the greatest in Europe.
Then the monks held a most important work, without which the Templars would not have the necessary backing for the performance of its task of warrior-monks in the service of a nation and a global project: the union of East and West around a spiritual empire.
In Alcobaça, in addition to its important library, there was, in fact, which, appropriately, we can call the first center of higher education in Portugal, namely Alcobaça was the legitimate precursor of the Portuguese University. In addition to prayer and study, the Cistercian monks extraordinarily developed agriculture, within the perfect monastic spirit of Ora et Labora, prayer and work, contemplation and action. “