History - OnThisDay - 23 April 1185- King Alfonso II of Portugal

23 April 1185 marks the birth of King Alfonso II of Portugal. This happy
event took place at Coimbra in the Kingdom of Portugal.


Alfonso was the son of King Sancho I and Dulce, Infanta of Aragon.
He was a member of the noble House of Burgundy.

Love and Marriage

In 1206 Alfonso II of Portugal married his fourth cousin, Infanta
Urraca of Castile. She was a daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile
and Eleanor of England. They were both descendants of King Alfonso VI
of Léon. They would have 4 children together. However King Alfonso II of
Portugal would have 2 illegitimate sons.


King Alfonso II of Portugal succeeded his father, King Sancho I of Portugal,
on 27 March 1211.

The first years of his reign were marked by internal disturbance between Alfonso
and his brothers and sisters.

Later he established the state's administration and centralized the power on himself.
He designed the first set of Portuguese written laws. These were concerned about
private property, civil justice and minting.

Alfonso also sent ambassadors to other European Kingdoms outside the Iberian
Peninsula and he began amicable commercial relations with most of them.

Alfonso II tried to weaken the power of the clergy and to apply a portion of the
enormous revenues of the Roman Catholic Church to purposes of national utility.
These actions led to a diplomatic conflict between the Pope and Portugal.
The King even was excommunicated by Pope Honorius III!


King Alfonso II died on 25 March 1223. He was originally buried at the
Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra. However his remains were transferred
to the Alcobaça Monastery as he had stipulated in his will.

Source pictures: Wikipedia

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