"Alcobaca love story" Portugal Things to Do Tip by magor65

Portugal Things to Do: 760 reviews and 1,215 photos

by magor65
  • Ines - Portugal
    by magor65
  • Pedro - Portugal
    by magor65

Crowds of tourist visiting Alcobaca rush to the abbey to see the tombs of Pedro I and his beloved Ines de Castro - the couple whose love is to last till the end of the world (Ate ao fim do mundo), as the inscription on both tombs says.
For dynastic reasons Pedro I was forced to marry Constancia of Castile. He fell in love with her lady-in-waiting, Ines de Castro. Pedro's father, Afonso IV, expelled Ines from the court to put an end to the romance. Soon Constancia died. Afonso believed that Ines and her family were a threat to Portugal and had her killed. His son declared then that he had married Ines in secret. After his father's death, Pedro decided to take a gruesome revenge on the killers. He had the body of Ines exhumed and made the murderers kneel and kiss her decomposed hand.
The tombs are placed in the transept opposing each other so that on the day of Final Judgement the lovers could see each other immediately.
Both sarcophaguses are made of sandstone and covered with rich figural decorations. At the head of Pedro's sarcophagus we can see the wheel of fortune describing the episodes from the life of two lovers. The sarcophagus of Ines is supported by crouching figures representing her murderers, whereas the one of Pedro is supported by the figures of lions. The decorations made by an anonymous artist from the 13th century are considered the masterpieces of Gothic art.

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  • Updated Aug 10, 2007
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