TABACARIA - by Fernando Pessoa / Álvaro de Campos
Portugal's ghost towns!

Love Beyond the Grave
 in Portugal

The story of Inês de Castro (1325-1355) and King of Portugal D. Pedro I (1320-1367) is one of the most haunting in European history. Pedro met Inês in 1340 when she was a lady in waiting to Pedro’s new bride. Pedro, heir to the throne, fell in love with Inês - ignoring his new wife for the caress of the beautiful Inês. This caused concern in the court, as Inês came from a powerful Castilian family.


Pedro’s father, King D. Afonso IV, ran out of patience when Pedro’s wife died in 1349, and Pedro took Inês as his common law wife. The king ordered that Inês be murdered. Three assassins beheaded her in the secluded gardens in Coimbra. In deep grief, Pedro walked for days in the garden, unconsolable and distraught . Once he composed himself, Pedro hunted down two of men who had killed Inês and took vengeance on them with his own hands. The third, upon hearing what had befallen the others, dropped dead. Next, he turned on his father and launched Portugal into a civil war.


King Afonso soon died of a broken heart and in 1387 Pedro became the eighth king of Portugal. He declared that Inês was the queen of Portugal, though she had been dead for two years. Pedro ordered her body exhumed and had her coronated at the great Abbey at Alcobaça. The greatest nobles and clergy of the land were forced  to bow before the remains of Inês, dressed in fine silks and jewels.  One by one, they kissed her hand and swore their allegiance to her as queen of Portugal. P

The tale of Inês and Pedro is immortalized in verse and theater in many languages, in fact almost two-dozen operas have been written about it. 

Come, discover for yourself: The scene of the Inês murder is now a hotel -- the Quinta das Lágrimas in Coimbra, and the spot she was murdered at the side of a pool, is marked by rare red algae - that is as red a blood. The great Cistercian Abbey of Alcobaça is a national monument, is  where the tombs of the two lovers lay foot-to-foot, as Pedro had ordered. His theory? On the day of redemption, the first thing they will see after rising from the grave will be each other.



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