Quinta das Lagrimas Relais & Chateaux
The History of The House

Quinta das Lgrimas (Estate of Tears) came to the possession of the present owners' family in 1730. Before that, the Quinta had already belonged to the University and to a religious Order.
The Palace was built during the XVIIIth century but, due to a fire that occurred in 1879, vast construction works had to be carried out in the inside as well as on the outside. Therefore, the house has a XIXth century architecture showing the several influences its owner, Miguel Osrio Cabral de Castro, gathered from his frequent traveling in Europe. Because he died without direct heirs, the house passed onto his grand-nephew, D. Miguel Osrio Cabral de Alarco, whose grandchildren are the present owners.

Throughout the years the Quinta was honored with the visit of several illustrious characters, who left important traces of their presence. One of this celebrities was Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington and Commander of the British Corps that helped to counterattack the Napoleonic invasions.

He stayed here because the owner of the house was at that time Antnio Maria Osrio Cabral da Gama e Castro, his aide-de-camp, who fought next to him at the battle of Buaco. During the time he spent here, Lord Wellington, fell in love with the Quinta and with the legend of Pedro and Ins, and to prove so he offered the stone which is now near the Fonte das Lgrimas, where he transcribed the verses from Lusadas narrating the death of D. Ins de Castro.

This act of horror, and black night obscure,
Mondego's daughter long resented deep;
And, for a lasting tomb, into a pure
Fountain transformed the tears which they did weep.
The name they gave it (which doth still endure)
Was Ines' loves, whom Pedro did keep.
No wonder, such sweet streams water those flowers:
Tears, are the substance; and the name Amours.

(Translated by Sir Richard Fanshawe) estrofe 135 do canto III dos Lusadas:

He also planted two sequoias, which are now approximately 190 years old and carry his name. Several years later D. Miguel I, King of Portugal, honored the Quinta with his visit and, according to the stories told by the family, he was delighted by this wonderful scenery. During his visit to Quinta das Lgrimas, Jos Maria Osrio Cabral (owner of the property) dedicated him a poem, made by improvisation:

Nas meigas Nymphas lagrimas formaram
Na fonte que contemplas, rei amado,
Da miseranda Ignez o acerbo Fado
To saudosas, com tanta dor choraram:

Hoje de nossos coraes brotaram
Lgrimas do prazer mais sublimado,
Por vermos o monarcha idolatrado,
Por quem to anciosos suspiraram.

Mas vae, senhor, ganhar-vos a victoria,
Corta da hydra feroz crueis enganos
Novo esplendor dars lusa histria.

E sabe que entre peitos lusitanos
N'estes stios ser tua memria
Brazo perenne at o fim dos annos.

Another visitor of historic importance was D. Pedro II, Emperor of Brazil. A chronicle in a newspaper of that time, the Comrcio da Figueira da Foz, tells that "(...) they went to the Fonte dos Amores where Mr. Miguel Osrio had a light meal waiting on two tables, under the cedars near the water spring. The tables, which were placed near the stream, were adorned with flowers and elegant silver vases from the familys possessions. Their Majesties enjoyed immensely the delicate surprise prepared by the owner of the house, and helped themselves to several desserts, fruits and wines; and they found the place so pleasant that they stayed there for a while, near the fountain, from which they drank some water"

The Garden
Most of the gardens in Lgrimas were designed by Miguel Osrio Cabral de Castro in XIXth century. The garden followed a fashion of that time, which was to create a private Vegetal Museum where species from all over the world would be present. In Lgrimas, rare and precious species were planted, some of which are unique in Portugal. The owner at that time benefited from his friendship with the director of the famous Coimbra Botanical Garden and exchanged species with him. In the Lgrimas collection there are different trees such as gum trees, camphor-trees, sequoias, plane-trees, oaks and palm trees, among hundreds of others.

Historic Perspective
Ins de Castro belonged to a powerful family from Galiza, and was descendent of Sancho IV, the king of Castile. She was also connected to the Albuquerque family. Afonso Sanchez (bastard son of Dom Diniz, King of Portugal), hated by Dom Afonso IV was married with the Albuquerque castle's owner. This lady was seen as a mother by D. Ins because she had raised her. This will be the first cause of hate between Afonso IV and D. Ins de Castro. In 1350 began in Castile a revolt of the great lords against Pedro I of Spain. The leader of this rebellion was Joo Afonso de Albuquerque, son of Afonso Sanches and therefore a sort of adoptive brother of D. Ins. He certainly used his influence on Ins in order to get D. Pedro, who had an affair with her, involved in the castilian civil wars. His attempt to influence D. Pedro was so strong that in 1354 Joo Afonso sent to Portugal a brother of D. Ins to convince D. Pedro to claim for himself the throne of Castile (D. Pedro was the grandson of SanchoIV). D. Pedro refused this because his father was strongly against it. In order to stop him, D. Afonso IV ordered the death of Ins de Castro when D. Pedro was absent. The executioners were lvaro Gonalves, Diogo Lopes Pacheco and Pedro Coelho, men acting under the king's protection. Hurt by his father's verdict, D. Pedro rebelled and for several months his troops swept the country in such a way that Oporto was under siege. As soon as D. Pedro became King and in spite of his promises of forgiveness, he captured the assassins of D. Ins who had before escaped to Castile in order to avoid his fury. One of them managed to escape but two were captured, tortured and executed. D. Pedro took the heart of one of them through the back and from the other he took the heart through the chest. In 1360 the King announced that he had married Ins secretly and, on that occasion, he gave the order for their graves to be built in the monument of Alcobaa, where he too was buried.




Romantic Perspective
During the 14th century the woods in the Quinta were the hunting ground of the royal family that lived in Coimbra. This was the place where Pedro and Ins met, always secretly, so that nothing and no one would disturb their love. Ins, an extremely beautiful woman, lived in the Convent of Santa-Clara-a-Velha, located about 500 metres away from the Quinta. She lived there because Queen D. Isabel had decreed in her will that any descendants of hers could live there if they so wished.
In Quinta das Lgrimas there is a stream of water called "dos amores" (of loves) because it ends at the Convent. This stream would carry the love letters from Pedro to Ins. The legend says that Pedro placed his letters in small wooden boats that then transported them by the stream into the delicate hands of Ins. It was in the woods of Quinta das Lgrimas that Ins was murdered by Afonso IV's three men. The story tells that she was "quietly resting" when the three men attacked her and stabbed her to death. Her tears started the "Fonte das Lgrimas" (Fountain of Tears), where her blood was forever engraved on the stone. When Pedro took her body to the monument in Alcobaa he ordered a burial march where the entire nobility had to participate. Once in Alcobaa, it is said that Ins was crowned (Cames said that "she was queen after she was dead") and the nobles were obliged to kiss her hand.

Literary Richness
The love between D. Pedro and D. Ins, her tragic death (planned by D. Afonso IV counselor's and sentenced by the King himself) by political reasons, D. Pedro's proclamation of D. Ins as a Queen even after her death, and most of all, his faith in the final encounter with the women he most loved, are great moments in the History of Portugal and part of Portuguese History. The story of Pedro and Ins has been told over and over again throughout the centuries by the most brilliant writers in the world. Cames dedicated a great part of the "Lusadas" to the legend of Ins de Castro but other names, Portuguese as well as foreigners, left in their works testimony of this episode of Portuguese history. Among them we can quote Antnio Ferreira, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Ezra Pound, Stendhal, Agustina Bessa-Luis, Manuel Alegre and Ana Maria Magalhes and Isabel Alada, Henri Montherlant, only to refer a few.

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