When I was young, my parents would take me and my brother on road trips across our country as holidays. Sometimes we would sleep in cheap pensions others in the car. I never found it strange and I cherish every little memory that I have of those trips. Unfortunately I was very young and I only remember bits and pieces.
One place that I remember dearly is a visit to “Quinta das Lágrimas” (A translation would be something like Estate of Tears). I remember my mother telling me the story of Pedro and Inês, that had fallen in love there. The story goes more or less like this. Pedro was the son of King Afonso IV. When he was 19 years old he had to marry Constança of Castille to secure an alliance between Portugal and Spain. However, Pedro fell in love with Constança’s lady-in-waiting, Inês de Castro. They started off an affair with Quinta das Lágrimas as a background. She tried to make them stop by asking Inês to be the godmother of one of her children, but it didn’t work. Pedro and Inês had 4 children together. When Contança died, Pedro tried to marry Inês, however his father didn’t consider her worthy enough. Pedro kept on refusing to marry anyone else. One day, while Pedro was absent, his father, King Afonso send assassins after Inês and she was killed. The rumor has it that it was in a place in Quinta das Lágrimas called Fonte das Lágrimas (Translation: fountain of tears”). Even today this fountain has red stained rocks in the bottom, that is said to be Inês’ blood.
Pedro never forgave his father and actually went to war against him. When he became King, he ordered that Inês’ body was dug up and crowned her queen. He made all of the court kiss her hand and went after her killers and ripped their hearts with his own hands.
I’m not sure how much of this is actually true and how much is legend, but the truth is that Quinta das Lágrimas is dedicated entirely to this great love. I remember walking there and just feeling all of the surroundings. It was so sad and so beautiful at the same time. I made my mother read over and over again all of the poems that are carved into stone plinths all over he garden. I never forgot the feeling.
Today this place is a 4 star Hotel. Sure it is great and some things are better taken cared of. But the feeling is not the same. They destroyed the mystery surrounding that place, that was all about sadness and lost love.
(This last one is from the fountain of Tears, where you can see the bloodstain)