Inês de Castro
Posthumous Queen consort of Portugal
Born 1325 - Died 1355 (aged 29)
Claim to fame: a tragic heroine, her forbidden relationship led to her murder, after which her lover supposedly forced the Portuguese court to swear allegiance to her exhumed corpse.
Prince Pedro of Portugal fatefully became infatuated with Inês, a Galician noblewoman and handmaiden of his wife Constanza of Castile. Consequently, Pedro neglected Constanza, further damaging the tenuous Portuguese relationship with Castile. Inês bore Pedro children and her family’s influence over him caused considerable political unrest.
After Constanza’s death in 1345, Pedro refused to wed anyone other than Inês though she was considered unsuitable to be queen. Pedro’s father, Afonso IV of Portugal, refused the marriage and banished Inês from court. The affair continued regardless and after several attempts to separate the lovers, Afonso sent assassins to murder Inês in 1355. Pedro took his revenge, publicly ripping out the hearts of two of her assassins.
On becoming King of Portugal, Pedro stated that Inês was his queen as they had secretly married before her death. Her body was exhumed to be reburied in the royal monastery but legend tells that Pedro first coronated her corpse and forced courtiers to kiss her hand to show their loyalty.
Her tomb (pictured above) was commissioned by Pedro, and he was later buried facing her, together ‘até ao fim do mundo’, until the end of the world. The story of Pedro and Inês continues to inspire the arts throughout the ages.
While conducting an excavation near Brest in northwestern France, before the construction of a road, a number of finds were uncovered including a rare early 14th century hoard that speaks of the turbulent times of the Hundred Years Wars.
The archaeologists from INRAP (the French…
Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, Luxor, Egypt
Also known as Medinet Habu, the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III (r. 1186–1155 BC), is an important New Kingdom structure on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt. The temple is probably best known as the source of inscribed reliefs depicting the advent and defeat of the Sea Peoples during the reign of Ramesses III.
The temple, some 150 m long, is of orthodox design, and resembles closely the nearby Mortuary Temple of Ramesses II (the Ramesseum). Its walls are relatively well preserved and it is surrounded by a massive mudbrick enclosure, which may have been fortified.