Project Description

Pedro and Inez

Pedro I of Portugal (1320 –1367) was the eighth king of Portugal and Algarve. His father, Afonso IV of Portugal, wanted to marry Pedro to Constanza Manuel, the daughter of his would-be ally Juan Manuel of Spain. When Constanza arrived in Portugal, Inez de Castro accompanied her as her lady-in-waiting. Pedro fell in love with Inez very quickly and the two started a secret love affair. However, he was forced to marry according to his fathers’s will. After Pedro’s wife Constanza died in 1345, his father Afonso, alarmed by the love scandal and the political ramifications it could cause, ordered Inez to be murdered. The assassins found Inez de Castro by a fountain on the estate and violently murdered her with their swords. Afterwards, her body was quickly and quietly buried in the cemetery of the Santa Clara Church. Pedro’s rage at the murder of his love is what supposedly sparked the revolt against his father. It lasted from 1355 until 1356 when Afonso defeated his son – however, one year later king Afonso died and Pedro succeeded to the throne. Inez’ assassins were the recipients of his harshest punishment. For the next few years, Pedro refused to remarry and pondered various ways to make his sons by Inez his rightful heirs. Legend holds that Pedro later had Inez’s body exhumed and placed on a throne, dressed in rich robes and jewels, and required all of his vassals to kiss the hand of the deceased “queen”. While this has never been proven, it is known that Pedro ordered that Inez would be removed from her resting place in Santa Clara Cemetery, dressed befitting a queen, and brought by Royal Procession to the Alcobaça Abbey (today, a UNESCO World Heritage Site) where her body was reinterred. Pedro had two tombs commissioned for the monastery, one for each of them. The marble tombs still exist today in a chapel, with effigies of Pedro and Inez facing each other. The inscription tells: ‘Até o fim do mundo…’ or ‘Until the end of the world…’