Still Valentines

Alcobaça, Portugal.

Pedro and Inez were a twosome in the 1300s. But he was a prince and King Alfonso, his father, disapproved of their relationship. Ultimately, Alfonso had Inez removed from the scene via murder. (History books say she was his mistress and after his wife died, they had three children together, and the King didn’t become concerned until his advisors suggested Inez and her brothers were trying to get the prince to vie for the Castilian throne.)

When Alfonso died, Pedro became king. He had the body of Inez exhumed; he claimed they had been clandestinely married. (History books say that is because he wanted their children to have inheritance rights.) They say Pedro demanded that Inez be shown the respect due his queen and required the Court to kiss the withered remnants of her hand. Can you imagine the gossip?  

The stone coffins of both King Pedro and his posthumous Queen Inez are at the Mosteiro a Batalha in Alcobaça. While the coffin of Inez is supported by what look like courtesans who are transforming into beasts, Pedro’s is supported by lions.

And the lions seem to have a good deal to talk about as they can still be seen chatting after all these years.

By the looks of it, the gargoyles are still talking about it too. But they may be talking about politics. Castilian or Catalan? Or perhaps…

Just between us, I did hear that in its heyday, the monastery was home to 1,000 religious folks who carried on in the most scandalous of ways. That was until Napoleon came in and shut down the monastery. If only I could hear these stone creatures’ conversation.

Did Pedro and Inez swap valentines?

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