Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Royal Crown and Shield

Portuguese shield and crown on top of a pillory at Estoril, near Tamariz beach.

Legend has it that Afonso I (1st portuguese king: 1109-1185) killed the five moorish kings of the Seville, Badajoz, Elvas, Évora and Beja taifas(*), before decimating the enemy troops. Hence, in gratitude, he incorporated five shields (the quinas) arranged in a cross — representing his divinely-led victory over the five enemy kings — with each one carrying Christ's five wounds in the form of silver bezants.
The seven castles are traditionally considered a symbol of the Portuguese victories over their moorish enemies, under King Afonso III, who supposedly captured seven enemy fortresses in the course of his conquest of the Algarve (south of Portugal), in 1249.
(*) A taifa in the history of Iberia was an independent Muslim-ruled principality, an emirate or petty kingdom. (source: Wikipedia)

12 comments:

tr3nta said...

great instructive post... ;-9

Tanya said...

Times were sure brutal back then. Love how you got a bit of the palm tree in this, nice :)

Olivier said...

Belle composition avec un ciel magnifique

nice composition with beautiful skies

Marie-Noyale said...

A little piece of History is always welcome, thanks.

Jazzy said...

love the post, and the sky is to say the least beautiful.

the donG said...

he might have been so furious! but like this king, magellan (portugese explorer) too has conquered many islands.

alice said...

I miss the blue...Thank you for it and this piece of history!

Joy said...

Wonderful piece of history. Great shot of the sky.

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Kelly said...

Great history! I love these sorts of posts - full of information! The photo is beautiful too - that sky is lovely!

Hilda said...

Interesting! So Iberia then was much like Italy with its city-states. Thanks for the great info.

I just love how you compose your photos! This is fabulous, as usual.

Saretta said...

So much interesting symbolism! I love the big white clouds and the perspective in the photo, too!

babooshka said...

I'm with Kelly, the image is very poignant to accompany the text which is vey interesting and informative.