Sancho I The Populator | Portugal Visitor

Sancho I The Populator | Portugal Visitor


Sancho I – Second King of Portugal

Statue of Dom Sancho I outside Guarda Cathedral

Sancho I (1154-1211) was a son of Afonso Henriques and the second king of Portugal.

He ruled the fledgling kingdom of Portugal created by his father from 1185 to 1211. Also like his father he was one of the great warrior kings of Portuguese history.

He is referred to in Portuguese as o Povoador or “the Populator.”

Afonso Henriques had previously created the kingdom of Portugal from the condado Portucalense (County of Portugal), a medieval earldom in the north. The new kingdom included the towns of Porto, Coimbra, Viseu, Guimarães and Braga. It was here that Portugal’s national identity was created.

Statue of King Sancho I outside the entrance to Silves Castle, Silves, Algarve, Portugal.
Statue of King Sancho I outside the entrance to Silves Castle, Silves, Algarve, Portugal

Early Life

Sancho was born in the then Portuguese capital of Coimbra in 1154. He was the fifth child of Afonso and Maud of Savoy and the second and only surviving, legitimate son of his parents.

As Afonso aged, Sancho took on more and more responsibility both militarily and politically.

As a young man he married Dulce, younger sister of King Alfonso II of Aragon, in 1174.

In return Aragon recognized Portugal as a sovereign nation. On ascending the throne in 1185, he generally attempted to cease conflict with his Iberian neighbors in Galicia and León. Instead he turned his attention to further expansion into the taifas of the Islamic south.

The important city of Silves (Xelb) in the Algarve fell to a combined force of Portuguese and mainly English Crusaders in 1188. The unfortunate defenders of Silves Castle were largely massacred by the English after a long and bitter siege.

However, the Moors returned before being driven out for good in 1249 with the final fall of Faro and the rest of the Algarve.

Sancho is known as o Povoador.
Sancho is known as o Povoador in Portuguese

The Populator

Trouble flared again with neighboring Galicia and León in Spain and thus Sancho founded the city of Guarda in 1199 to help protect the frontier. His statue stands proudly outside Guarda Cathedral.

He encouraged people to live in the frontier areas in the north by founding new villages and towns such as Guarda, hence his nickname of “The Populator.” Sancho also ordered the construction of Belver Castle.

Dom Sancho I founded Guarda in 1199.
Dom Sancho I founded Guarda in 1199


Sancho realized that the new kingdom was financially weakened by the enormous grants of territory given to the religious orders and tried to claw back some of these concessions during his reign.

The king’s financial need was heightened by the Almohad counter offensive in the south which shrank the size of his kingdom and thus his revenues.

Disputes erupted between Sancho and the bishops of Coimbra and Porto over the king’s increasing intervention in ecclesiastical affairs.

The king had a love of literature and learning. He wrote poetry and sent young men to study at universities overseas.

Death & Legacy

Sancho died in 1211 and like his father is buried within an elaborate tomb in the Santa Cruz Monastery in Coimbra.

His union with Dulce produced 11 children, 9 of whom reached adulthood, including his son Afonso, who became Afonso II.

Also like his father, Sancho sired several illegitimate children both before his marriage and after his wife’s death.

Sancho’s poem A Ribeirinha, written in 1199, is thought to have been composed for one of his lovers. It is the oldest text known in Portuguese poetry.

The tomb of Dom Sancho I in the Santa Cruz monastery in Coimbra.
The tomb of Dom Sancho I in the Santa Cruz monastery in Coimbra


Source link

Deixe o seu comentário

O seu endereço de email não será publicado.