King Dom Afonso Henriques

- The Conquerer

d. afonso.jpg

First King of Portugal, son of Count D. Henrique de Burgundy and Infanta D. Teresa of León, D. Afonso Henriques was born in 1109 and died in Coimbra in 1157.

In 1122, on the day of Pentecost, he was knighted by his own hands in the cathedral of Zamora.

In 1128, D. Teresa's troops clash with D. Afonso Henriques 'troops, who were victorious in the famous Battle of São Mamede - which enshrined D. Afonso Henriques' authority in the Portuguese territory, leading him to take over the county government.

To reinforce his position, that of the church and the territory he wanted independent of the Kingdom of Leon, D. Afonso Henriques moves the court to the city of Coimbra and makes some important decisions:

· With the support of D. Afonso Henriques, in 1131 the Santo Agostinho the Canons Regular founded the Monastery of Santa Cruz de Coimbra -, directly subordinate to the Roman curia - foundation that led to the meeting of Portuguese dioceses to Braga metropolis;

· In 1143 D. Afonso Henriques d made vassalage to the Holy Church of Rome - by virtue of a new phase of his policy begun with the use of the title of king;

· The blessing of the 1179 bull , in which Pope Alexander III first appointed D. Afonso Henriques king to whom he gave the right to conquer lands to the Moors over which other Christian princes had no previous rights;

· Internal pacification of the kingdom and extension of territory by conquest from the Moors - the southern limit to the Portucalense county - and so Leiria in 1135, Santarém and Lisbon in 1147 - or even beyond this, whenever this would not lead to conflicts with the Emperor - and thus Almada and Palmela in 1147, Alcácer in 1160 and almost all of Alentejo (which was later recovered by the Moors).

D. Afonso Henriques was a brave and conquering king who already left much territory conquered to the Moors when he died, a task that D. Sancho I, his son and successor, continued.