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Dom Afonso Henriques

(1109-1185)

Dom Afonso Henriques, was born in Coimbra and died in 1185 in Galicia, having been raised by Soeiro Mendes de Sousa and his wife in the Portucalense County where he obtained a noble education in the political aspect.

It is in 1120 and together with Dom Paio, Archbishop of Braga that D. Afonso Henriques assumes a political position contrary to that of his mother.

In the year of 1122 becomes knight in the Cathedral of Zamora, returning thus to the County Portucalense in 1128 where it is faced and it conquers the hosts of Fernão Peres de Trava in Batalla de São Mamede finishing by assuming the government of the county Portucalense, with the objective of their independence.

D. Afonso Henriques defines a policy based on the defense of the county against Leon and Castile to the north and East and against the Moors to the south.

D. Afonso Henriques begins negotiations with the Holy See with the objective of being able to see the independence of his kingdom recognized in order to guarantee the full autonomy of the Portuguese Church.

It is in 1131 that Dom Afonso Henriques founded the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra as well as having several castles built, especially the Castle of Leiria, built in 1135, because it was one of the strategic points for the development of the reconquest.

In 1139 he wins the Battle of Ourique against the Moors, at which point he becomes King.

In 1147, Dom Afonso Henriques conquers the city of Santarém and Lisbon.

In 1162 Dom Afonso Henriques conquered Évora and Beja and it is only in 1179 with the Bull Manifesto Probatory of Pope Alexander III that D. Afonso Henriques is appointed and recognized as King.

Upon his death in 1185 D. Afonso Henriques gave his son Dom Sancho I a perfectly defined and independent territory.

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