Home Governo de Portugal DGPC Home UNESCO
Versão Portuguesa

King Afonso V


12th Monarch of Portugal. Born in Sintra, January 15, 1432, and died in the same town, August 28, 1481.

He was the son of King Duarte and Queen Leonor (Eleanor of Aragon).

He ascended to the throne on September 9, 1438.

As he was still a minor, in December 1439, the Lisbon Cortes (council of the kingdom) gave the regency to his uncle, the Infante Pedro, and a few weeks later also the responsibility for the education of the prince and heir.

His reign was marked by his military achievements in Mauritania, which earned him the name of The African.

Afonso also sponsored exploratory expeditions in the Atlantic Ocean.

He first married Isabel, his first cousin, daughter of his uncle Pedro, Duke of Coimbra and of Infanta Isabel, on May 6, 1447 and they had 3 children:

João, in 1451 (who died not long after being born)
Joana, in 1452, (who became known as Blessed Joan of Portugal)
João (the future João II, 13th King of Portugal)

Later, in 1475, he married Joana, the Excellent, as the Castilian princess was commonly named, in a failed attempt to also become king of Castile.

He would end up retiring to the Convent of Varatojo, in Torres Vedras, and abdicating in favour of his son João, future King João II.

He was buried in the Monastery of Batalha, next to his wife - firstly, in the Chapter House, due to the fact that the pantheon being built for him was not yet finished. Later, around 1901, his bones, as well as those of his wife, were placed in a neo-gothic tomb in the Founder’s Chapel.

He is associated with the motto Jamais (‘Never’)