Country Listing

Portugal Table of Contents




Afonso Henriques, founder and first king of Portugal (r. 1139-85)
Courtesy Embassy of Portugal, Washington


Figure 2. The Reconquest, 1185-1250

Afonso Henriques was a robust, visionary young man of about twenty years of age when he acquired control of the province of Portugal. He was anxious to free himself from León and establish his own kingdom. Consequently, he invaded Galicia and defeated Fernando Peres and the Galician barons at the Battle of Cerneja. This action brought a response from Alfonso VII, who had in the meantime proclaimed himself emperor. He ordered the Galician barons to make war on Afonso Henriques, who, threatened by Muslims from the south recently reinvigorated by the Almohads from Morocco, made peace with Alfonso VII in 1137 at Tuy.

Data as of January 1993