The ducal palace of Vila Viçosa

This place deserves a close look.

Salt of Portugal

Palácio Vila Viçosa

Portugal is a dream reborn in the prairies of Alentejo. In 1580, the king of Portugal died without an heir and the king of Spain inherited the throne of Portugal. After six decades of Spanish domination, a small group of nobles organized a coup to restore independence. They wanted to make Dom João of Braganza, a duke with royal blood who lived in Vila Viçosa, king of Portugal.

The king of Spain had arranged a marriage between Dom João and a Spanish aristocrat, Dona Luisa de Gusmão, hoping she would persuade the duke to support the Spanish rule. Instead, Dona Luisa became an advocate for Portugal’s independence.

Dom João worried that the rebellion was likely to fail. He was willing to die for his country but did not like risking the fate of his wife and children. Dona Luisa convinced him to go forward with the words: “I would rather be queen for a day than duchess for life.” Portugal…

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7 thoughts on “The ducal palace of Vila Viçosa

  1. “I would rather be queen for a day than duchess for life.” Now that’s good stuff. Brings to mind the women of the South. And reminds me of the inner iron of a certain sisterly dear friend of mine. Nice to have our Lusitania tour guide back!!

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