Sebastian of Portugal
Dom Sebastian I was King of Portugal and the Algarves from 11 June 1557 to 4 August 1578 and the penultimate Portuguese monarch of the House of Aviz. He was the son of John Manuel, Prince of Portugal and he was the grandson of King John III of Portugal and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. He disappeared in the battle of Alcácer Quibir, Sebastian I is often referred to as The Desired, as the Portuguese people longed for his return to end the decline of Portugal that began after his death. Sebastian was born shortly after eight in the morning of 20 January 1554, the name Sebastian was highly unusual for members of any European royal family at the time. Shortly after his birth, a doctor, Fernando Abarca Maldonado, among other things, Maldonado predicted that Sebastian would be very attracted to women and have many children. None of these predictions ever came to pass, Sebastian was born heir-apparent to the throne of Portugal, since his birth occurred two weeks after the death of his father. He succeeded to the throne at the age of three, on the death of King John III, his paternal grandfather, soon after his birth, his mother Joanna of Spain left her infant son to serve as regent of Spain for her father, Emperor Charles V.
After his abdication in 1556, she served in the capacity for her brother Philip II of Spain. Joanna remained in Spain until her death in 1573, never to see her son again, since Sebastian was still a child, a regency was necessary. It was handled first by his grandmother, Catherine of Austria. This period saw continued Portuguese colonial expansion in Angola, Sebastian was a bright and lively boy. Reports say he was due to his great physical strength. Tall and blond, he was brought up by his grandmother Catherine, obedient as a child, he became obstinate and impulsive in life. The young king grew up under the guidance and heavy influence of the Jesuits, aleixo de Meneses, a military man of solid reputation and former tutor and guardian of Prince John, was appointed tutor to Sebastian by the boys grandmother. Other teachers included the priest Luís Gonçalves da Câmara and his assistant and his upbringing made Sebastian extremely devout. He carried a copy of Thomas Aquinas on a belt at his waist and was accompanied by two monks of the Theatine Order who were intent on preserving the kings innocence.
As a child, Sebastian reportedly would react to visitors by running off into hiding with the monks until the visitors had gone, Sebastian died young and did not marry. However, he was involved in several proposed marriage alliances, by then, Sebastians proposal was rejected
John II of Castile
John II of Castile was King of Castile and León from 1406 to 1454. John was the son of King Henry III and his wife and his mother was the granddaughter of King Peter, who was ousted by Henry IIIs grandfather, King Henry II. John succeeded his father on 25 December 1406, and united in his person the claims of both Peter and Henry II and his mother and his uncle, King Ferdinand I of Aragon, were co-regents during his minority. When Ferdinand died in 1416, his mother governed alone until her death in 1418, John IIs reign, lasting 49 years, was one of the longest in Castilian history, but John himself was not a particularly capable monarch. He spent his time verse-making and holding tournaments and his favourite, Álvaro de Luna, heavily influenced him until his second wife, Isabella of Portugal, obtained control of his feeble will. At her instigation, he dismissed his faithful and able servant, John IIs Regents declared the Valladolid laws in 1411, which restricted the social activity of Jews. Among the most notable of the provisions were outlining that Jews must wear distinctive clothes, in 1431 John placed Yusuf IV on the throne as the Sultan of Granada in the Moorish Emirate of Granada, in exchange for tribute and vassal status to Castile.
This exchange is depicted in the ballad the Romance of Abenamar. He was all and handsome, fair-skinned and slightly ruddy and his hair was the color of a very mature hazelnut, the nose a little snub, the eyes between green and blue. He had very graceful legs and feet and hands, John II died on 20 July 1454, at Valladolid. In 1418, John married Maria of Aragon, the oldest daughter of his paternal uncle, Ferdinand I of Aragon
Charles the Bold
Charles the Bold, baptised Charles Martin, was Duke of Burgundy from 1467 to 1477. He was the last Duke of Burgundy from the House of Valois and is known as Charles the Rash. His early death at the Battle of Nancy at the hands of Swiss mercenaries fighting for René II, Charles the Bold was born in Dijon, the son of Philip the Good and Isabella of Portugal. Before the death of his father in 1467, he bore the title of Count of Charolais, afterwards, he assumed all of his fathers titles, including that of Grand Duke of the West. He was made a Knight of the Golden Fleece just twenty days after his birth, invested by Charles I, Count of Nevers, Charles was brought up under the direction of Jean dAuxy and early showed great application alike to academic studies and warlike exercises. His fathers court was the most extravagant in Europe at the time, in 1440, at the age of seven, Charles was married to Catherine, daughter of King Charles VII of France and sister of the Dauphin. She was five years older than her husband, and she died in 1446 at the age of 18, in 1454, at the age of 21, Charles married a second time.
He wanted to marry a daughter of his distant cousin Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York and his father chose Isabella of Bourbon, who was three years younger than he was. Isabella was the daughter of Philip the Goods sister Agnes and a distant cousin of Charles VII of France. Their daughter Mary of Burgundy was Charles only surviving child, she inherited all the Burgundian domains before her marriage to Maximilian of Hapsburg, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III. Charles was on terms with his brother-in-law Louis, the Dauphin of France. For his third wife, Charles was offered the hand of Louis XIs daughter Anne, the wife he ultimately chose, was his second cousin Margaret of York. Upon the death of his father in 1467, Charles was no longer bound by the terms of the Treaty of Arras, and he decided to ally himself with Burgundys old ally England. Louis did his best to prevent or delay the marriage with Margaret, but in the summer of 1468, it was celebrated sumptuously at Bruges, the couple had no children, but Margaret devoted herself to her stepdaughter Mary.
After Marys death many years later, she kept Marys two infant children as long as she was allowed. On 12 April 1465, Philip relinquished control of the government of his domains to Charles, who spent the next summer prosecuting the War of the Public Weal against Louis XI. Charles was left master of the field at the Battle of Montlhéry on 13 July 1465, during the negotiations for the treaty, his wife Isabella died suddenly at Les Quesnoy on 25 September, making a political marriage suddenly possible. As part of the treaty, Louis promised him the hand of his infant daughter Anne, with the territories of Champagne and Ponthieu as a dowry, in the meanwhile, Charles obtained the surrender of Ponthieu
Catherine of Austria, Queen of Portugal
Catherine of Austria was Queen of Portugal as wife of King John III, and regent during the minority of her grandson, King Sebastian, from 1557 until 1562. An Infanta of Castile and Archduchess of Austria, Catherine was the daughter of King Philip I by Queen Joanna of Castile. Catherine was born in Torquemada and named in honor of her maternal aunt and she remained with her mentally unstable mother until her eldest siblings and the future Emperor Charles V, arrived at Spain, coming from Flanders. All of her five siblings, except Ferdinand, were born in the Low Countries and had been put into the care of their aunt Margaret of Austria. Catherine actually stayed with her mother during imprisonment at Tordesillas during her grandfather Ferdinand of Aragons time as regent, when the time came for her to marry, Catherine was released from the custody that her mother was to endure until her death. On 10 February 1525, Catherine married her first cousin, King John III of Portugal and they had nine children, but only two survived early childhood.
After the death of her husband in 1557, she was challenged by her daughter-in-law and niece, Joan of Austria, over the role of regent for her grandchild, the infant King Sebastian. Mediation by Charles V resolved the issue in favour of his sister Catherine over his daughter Joan and she served as the regent of Portugal from 1557 until 1562. In 1562, she turned over the regency to Henry of Portugal, Catherine had one of the earliest and finest Chinese porcelain collections in Europe due to her position as both the youngest sister of Emperor Charles V and the Queen of Portugal. Her collection became the first kunstkammer on the Iberian Peninsula and she was following a tradition established earlier by the Portuguese King Manuel I of Portugal who had purchased porcelain for his wife, Maria of Castile, who was Catherines aunt. Catherine has no descendants today, as both her grandchildren died childless and her line of descent became extinct within six months of her death, as the only descendant of hers that survived her, King Sebastian of Portugal, died in August 1578
Isabella of Portugal, Queen of Castile
Isabella of Portugal was Queen consort of Castile and León. She was the mother of Queen Isabella I the Catholic and she was born as a scion of a collateral branch of the Aviz dynasty that had ruled Portugal since 1385. Isabella of Braganza was therefore a half-niece of her husband, isabellas father held some lordships, but was not among the forefront of the Portuguese royal house, there being a multitude of powerful dukes ahead of him. Isabella was married to king John II of Castile as his second wife and his first wife, Mary of Aragon, had given him four children, though only one, the future Henry IV of Castile, had survived. Henry had been joined to Blanche II of Navarre in a marriage for seven years and was called El Impotente. Because of this, John decided to seek another wife, the two were wed on 22 July 1447 when John was 42 and Isabella only 19. De Luna had dominated the king for years and doubtless expected this to continue after the marriage, de Luna tried to control the young queen as well, even going as far as to attempt to limit the couplings between the amorous king and his bride.
Isabella took exception to de Lunas influence over her husband and attempted to persuade her husband to remove this favourite and she had little success until after the 1451 birth of her daughter and namesake who would become Isabella I of Castile. The queens confinement was long and difficult, and the new mother sank into a depression during which she refused to speak to anyone. To do this, Isabella employed the help of a nobleman, Alfonso Pérez de Vivero, hoping that de Luna would kill Pérez, when de Luna discovered this, he murdered Pérez, just like Isabella had planned. When de Lunas crime was discovered, Isabella used it as an excuse to have him executed, the death of his favourite saddened the old king, and his health began to decline rapidly. On 15 November 1453, Isabella gave birth to a son, Henry IV, newly divorced from Blanche, became king. After Henry ascended the throne, he sent his stepmother, who was three years younger than himself, and his two little half-siblings to the Castle of Arévalo, while there, the dowager queen and her two children lived austerely.
There is no evidence that the widowed queen ever considered remarrying, while at Arévalo, Isabella sank deeper into the melancholy and paranoia that had begun after the birth of her elder child. She became increasingly unhinged with every passing year, after a while, she forgot who everyone around was, and at times she could not even remember her own identity, becoming aggressive. When Henry IV died in 1474, Isabella bypassed the claims of her niece, together and Ferdinand spent their time uniting Spain by completing the reconquista. It was not until 1496, when the queen heard that her mother was dying, the deranged and distraught old woman did not recognise her daughter. After her death, she was interred next to her husband and her children were, Isabella I of Castile
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never crowned by the Pope, as the journey to Rome was always too risky. He was the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and he ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of his fathers reign, from c.1483 to 1493. Charles father Philip died in 1506, so Charles succeeded Maximilian as Holy Roman Emperor in 1519, Maximilian was born at Wiener Neustadt on 22 March 1459. His father, Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, named him for an obscure saint whom Frederick believed had once warned him of imminent peril in a dream, in his infancy, he and his parents were besieged in Vienna by Albert of Austria. One source relates that, during the sieges bleakest days, the prince would wander about the castle garrison, begging the servants. The young prince was an excellent hunter, his hobby was the hunting for birds as a horse archer. The reigning duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, was the political opponent of Maximilians father Frederick III.
After the Siege of Neuss, he was successful, the wedding between Maximilian and Mary took place on the evening of 16 August 1477. Maximilians wife had inherited the large Burgundian domains in France and the Low Countries upon her fathers death in the Battle of Nancy on 5 January 1477. Already before his coronation as the King of the Romans in 1486, Maximilian decided to secure this distant and extensive Burgundian inheritance to his family, the House of Habsburg, at all costs. Maximilian undertook the defence of his wifes dominions from an attack by Louis XI and defeated the French forces at Guinegate, the wedding contract between Maximilian and Mary stipulated that only the children of bride and groom had a right to inherit from each, not the surviving parent. Mary tried to bypass this rule with a promise to transfer territories as a gift in case of her death, but her plans were confounded. After Marys death in an accident on 27 March 1482 near the Wijnendale Castle, Maximilians aim was now to secure the inheritance to one of his and Marys children.
Some of the Netherlander provinces were hostile to Maximilian, and they signed a treaty with Louis XI in 1482 that forced Maximilian to give up Franche-Comté and they openly rebelled twice in the period 1482–1492, attempting to regain the autonomy they had enjoined under Mary. Flemish rebels managed to capture Philip and even Maximilian himself, Maximilian continued to govern Marys remaining inheritance in the name of Philip the Handsome. After the regency ended and Charles VIII of France exchanged these two territories for Burgundy and Picardy in the Treaty of Senlis, thus a large part of the Netherlands stayed in the Habsburg patrimony. Maximilian was elected King of the Romans on 16 February 1486 in Frankfurt-am-Main at his fathers initiative and he became emperor of the Holy Roman Empire upon the death of his father in 1493. Much of Austria was under Hungarian rule when he took power, in 1490, Maximilian reconquered the territory and entered Vienna
Ribeira Palace was the main residence of the Kings of Portugal, in Lisbon, for around 250 years. Its construction was ordered by King Manuel I of Portugal when he found the Royal Alcáçova of São Jorge unsuitable, the palace complex underwent numerous reconstructions and reconfigurations from the original Manueline design, ending with its final Mannerist and Baroque form. The Ribeira Palace, as well as most of the city of Lisbon, was destroyed in the 1755 Lisbon earthquake, Lisbons primary square, the Praça do Comércio, is situated on the site of the former palace. The square is popularly referred to as the Terreiro do Paço. The groundbreaking of the palace was in 1498, Ribeira palace was situated next to the Ribeira das Naus shipyard and near all the major Lisbon trading houses. In 1502, the palace had been large enough so that the Portuguese Royal Court could begin moving into the palace. In 1508, King Manuel I started expansion works on the palace, which ended in 1510, the palace of King Manuel I, and his successors until King Henry I of Portugal, was a true palace of the Portuguese Renaissance.
Done in the Manueline style, among others, the palace included various wings, balconies and courtyards. The main loggia of the palace, facing the Terreiro do Paço, followed the style employed by King Manuel I at many of his palaces, most notably at the Royal Palace of Évora. The hallmark of the palace, not just in the Manueline era but in all its history, was its Tower of the King, in the southern wing. During the Manueline era, the Casa da Índia was installed in the tower and it was during the Manueline era, when the House of Aviz ruled Portugal, that the Portuguese Renaissance truly flourished, and Ribeira Palace was one of its centers. It was a beacon for artists, scientists and noblemen from all over Portugal and it was at Ribeira Palace, in 1515, that Gil Vicente, the father of Portuguese and Spanish theatre, first performed his play Quem Tem Farelos. for King Manuel I. The palace was almost completely destroyed in the 1531 Lisbon earthquake and had to be rebuilt. To better suit Lisbon for King Philip Is extravagant court, the King ordered the remodeling and expansion of Ribeira Palace, under the authority of Filipe Terço, the Master of the Royal Works.
King Philip I decided to modernize the palace, stripping it of its early renaissance, Manueline style and planning and converting Ribeira Palace into a monumental, organized Mannerist complex. When King Philip I left Lisbon, in 1583, Ribeira Palace became the seat of the Council of Portugal. Another King to improve the Palace was John V, who invested great sums – derived from the mines in colonial Brazil – to enlarge. The original manueline chapel was turned into a magnificent baroque church, in the century, King Joseph I built a Royal Opera House by the Palace, designed by the Italian Giuseppe Bibiena
Eleanor of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress
Eleanor of Portugal was Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. She was the third eldest daughter, but her two sisters died when they were young, leaving Eleanor as the eldest surviving daughter. When her father died five days before her birthday, Eleanors brother Afonso V succeeded him as king with her mother as regent. The following March, her mother gave birth to daughter, Joan. In 1440, Eleanors mother was forced to go into exile in Castile after losing litigation against her brother-in-law Peter, Duke of Coimbra and she left Eleanor behind, because she was ill at the time. Eleanors marriage partner was likely suggested by her aunt Isabella of Portugal, arrangements were made by Eleanors maternal uncle Alfonso V, King of Aragon and Naples, who, in 1448, sent artists from his court to paint Eleanor. The practical negotiations were made in Naples and completed in 1451, during the sea travel, the fleet escorting Eleanor to Italy was tormented by pirates and storms, and there were rumours that she had been lost at sea.
The marriage took place in Rome, upon her coronation, she was given the name Helena, but she never used this name. The festivities was hosted by her uncle, the king of Naples and Frederick were dissimilar and never happy. She was an ambitious and willful woman who participated in intrigues, whereas the emperor was a sober. Her interest for dance and hunting was not shared by Frederick, during a period of siege in Vienna, when people were forced to eat rats and dogs, she was known for trying to cheer people up. Her dowry was used by her husband to alleviate his financial problems, Frederick III was the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned in Rome. Sigrid-Maria Größing, AEIOU - Glück und Unglück im österreichischen Kaiserhaus, Verlag Amalthea, ISBN 978-3-85002-633-8
Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
Frederick III, called the Peaceful or the Fat, was Holy Roman Emperor from 1452 until his death, the first emperor of the House of Habsburg. He was the emperor to be crowned by the Pope. Prior to his coronation, he was duke of the Inner Austrian lands of Styria and Carniola from 1424. He was elected and crowned King of Germany in 1440 and he was the longest-reigning German monarch when in 1493, after ruling his domains for more than 53 years, he was succeeded by his son Maximilian I. During his reign, Frederick concentrated on re-uniting the Habsburg hereditary lands of Austria, nevertheless, by his dynastic entitlement to Hungary as well as by the Burgundian inheritance, he laid the foundations for the Habsburg Empire. Mocked as Arch-Sleepyhead of the Holy Roman Empire during his lifetime, according to the 1379 Treaty of Neuberg, the Leopoldinian branch ruled over the duchies of Styria and Carniola, or what was referred to as Inner Austria. Only three of Fredericks eight siblings survived childhood, his younger brother Albert, and his sisters Margaret and Catherine.
In 1424, nine-year-old Fredericks father died, making Frederick the duke of Inner Austria, as Frederick V, with his uncle, Duke Frederick IV of Tyrol, from 1431, Frederick tried to obtain majority but for several years was denied by his relatives. Finally, in 1435, Albert V, duke of Austria, almost from the beginning, Fredericks younger brother Albert asserted his rights as a co-ruler, as the beginning of a long rivalry. Already in these years, Frederick had begun to use the symbolic A. E. I. O. U, signature as a kind of motto with various meanings. In 1436 he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, accompanied by numerous nobles knighted by the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, upon the death of his uncle Duke Frederick IV in 1439, Frederick took over the regency of Tyrol and Further Austria for the dukes heir Sigismund. Again he had to ward off the claims raised by his brother Albert VI, likewise he acted as regent for his nephew Ladislaus the Posthumous, son of late King Albert II and his consort Elizabeth of Luxembourg, in the duchy of Austria.
Frederick was now the head of the Habsburg dynasty, though his regency in the lands of the Albertinian Line was still viewed with suspicion. In 1442, Frederick allied himself with Rudolf Stüssi, burgomaster of Zurich, against the Old Swiss Confederacy in the Old Zurich War but lost. In 1448, he entered into the Concordat of Vienna with the Holy See, as a cousin of late King Albert II, Frederick became a candidate for the imperial election. In 1452, at the age of 37, Frederick III travelled to Italy to receive his bride and his fiancée, the 18-year-old infanta Eleanor, daughter of King Edward of Portugal, landed at Livorno after a 104-day trip. Her dowry would help Frederick alleviate his debts and cement his power, the couple met at Siena on 24 February and proceeded together to Rome. As per tradition, they spent a night outside the walls of Rome before entering the city on 9 March, where Frederick and Pope Nicholas V exchanged friendly greetings