Landmark & Historical Place, Hotel
Quinta das Lágrimas
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Quinta das Lágrimas is an estate in Coimbra, Portugal. It was classified in 1977 as an "Imóvel de Interesse Publico" (En: Building of Public Interest) by the IPPAR. It includes 12 ha(29.6 acres) of gardens and a palace that has been converted into a luxury hotel.HistoryThe origin of the estate is uncertain. It is known that it was a hunting ground for the Portuguese royal family and that it later belonged to the University of Coimbra and afterwards to a religious order. It was acquired by the Osório Cabral de Castro family in 1730, by whose order the palace was built. In 1879 a large part of the palace was lost during a fire. It was rebuilt in the late nineteenth century by Miguel Osório Cabral de Castro, in a style different from that of the original.BuildingThe palace building has a central body and two lateral ones. The lateral bodies feature a balcony with a railing of square columns on their façade. To the right there is a chapel.The "Fonte das Lágrimas" (En: Fountain of Tears), which according to legend originated from the tears shed by Inês de Castro when she was killed, is located close to the spring identified by António de Vasconcelos. Its entry features a broken arch, probably from the fourteenth century.Legend and hauntingThe name Quinta das Lágrimas comes from the legend of Prince Pedro and his bride's lady-in-waiting Inês de Castro who had a forbidden royal love affair for many years, starting in 1340. The tryst ended in 1355 when Pedro's father, King Alonso IV, who suspected Inês and her family to have designs for his throne orders his henchmen to stab her to death. But unbeknownst to the king, when Pedro's wife died from childbirth, he secretly married Inês, who by law, was the Queen of Portugal. After his father's death, Pedro became King of Portugal in 1357, and ordered the men responsible for his beloved's murder to be killed. He also wanted the courtiers to acknowledge her as their new queen and had Inês' body buried in a royal tomb. But the story takes a chilling turn when King Pedro ordered that Inês' body was exhumed and put on the throne beside him for the entire court to swear allegiance to their queen. They had to bend their knee before her decaying corpse and kiss her hand.