Portuguese people are often described as melancholic and nostalgic, but when it comes to love, they could not be more intense.
The year was 1340. The King of Portugal Afonso IV had arranged a wedding for his son, Pedro, with a Spanish princess. But the young prince fell head over heels for one of the princess’s aids, Inês de Castro.
Although he was married, Pedro could not be far from Inês. Furious with the romance, the King had the young aid exiled in a convent and later moved her around different castles, until she finally settled in royal hunting grounds, at the Quinta das Lágrimas Estate.
When the princess died giving birth to her third child, Pedro was finally free to fully embrace Inês in his arms. But the King had different plans. Worried about potential political conflicts, he called upon three noble men to assassinate her.
When Pedro found out, he was so heartbroken that he declared war on his own father and had his troops unleash terror across the country. He eventually made peace with his father, but a broken heart cannot be healed.
When the King died and Pedro rose to the throne, the assassins were captured and their hearts ripped out of their chests. He then had Inês’s body exhumed and made her queen. According to the legend, Pedro sat her on the throne and made every noble at the ceremony kiss her hand.
Like every tale, it is difficult to separate facts from fiction. But what is very real is the beautiful Quinta das Lágrimas Estate, where Inês spent the last years of her life. The 4-star renovated palace hotel is one of Portugal’s hidden treasures and offers luxury accommodation in a breathtaking historical setting. But beware if you plan to visit: you might just fall in love.