There is a love story which has left a mark on the History of Portugal: the tale of forbidden love between Infante Peter and Inês de Castro, lady-in-waiting to his wife Constance. Although he was married, the Infante would have secret romantic meetings with Inês in the gardens of Quinta das Lágrimas. When Constance died in 1345, Peter and Inês lived as a married couple, a decision which angered King Afonso IV, his father, who was strongly opposed the relationship. The court and the people also disapproved of it.
Peter and Inês lived at Santa Clara Palace, in Coimbra, with their three children for many years. However, King Afonso IV, who was constantly under pressure because of the growing disapproval of the union within the court, decided to order the murder of Inês de Castro in January 1355. Deranged by pain, Peter led an uprising against the King and would never forgive his father for murdering his lover. When he finally took the crown in 1357, Peter ordered the arrest and execution of Inês’ murderers by ripping their hearts out. This action earned him the title of “the Cruel”.
Later, after swearing that he had secretly married Inês de Castro, King Peter demanded that she be recognized as Queen of Portugal. In April 1360, he ordered the body of Inês to be moved from Coimbra to the Royal Monastery of Alcobaça, where two magnificent tombs were built so that he could rest next to his eternal lover forever. Thus, the most overwhelming Portuguese love story would be immortalized in stone.