It was a condemned love from the start. The infant Pedro I of Portugal, heir to the Portuguese throne, married to D. Constança Manuel, fell in love with her nurse, D. Inês de Castro.
The king D. Afonso IV, satisfied with having married the heir to the throne to the daughter of one of his allies, did not approve of the relationship. He evoked the pretext of the sacred vow of marriage, but, in reality, also feared the influence of D. Inês’s brothers, D. Fernando de Castro and D. Álvaro Perez, descendents of D. Pedro Fernandes de Castro, the majordomo to the king D. Afonso XI of Castile, whom he did not trust. Therefore, he exiled D. Inês in the castle of Albuquerque, on the Castilian border, in the hopes that the distance would extinguish the love between Pedro and Inês – to no success, as the lovers continued to correspond to each other.
After D. Constança passed away giving birth to the future king of Portugal, D. Fernando I, rumors arose that D. Pedro had secretly gotten married D. Inês. Furious, and taking advantage of D. Pedro’s absence, he went with Pero Coelho, Álvaro Gonçalves, and Diogo Lopes Pacheco on a hunting trip to Paço de Santa Clara, in Coimbra, where the two had settled. Inês de Castro was executed, to D. Pedro’s revulsion, who decided to persecute and kill her executioners.
And what does this passionate story of love among Portuguese royalty have to do with Piódão? Well, it’s because one of the executioners, Diogo Lopes Pacheco, decided to escape to the high coast and found an enchanting place with schist houses in this “nativity scene village,” the perfect refuge to escape D. Pedro’s wrath. He was so successful that after some time, he escaped to the French border and was eventually pardoned by the Portuguese king on his deathbed.
Centuries later, Pacheco is one of the most popular surnames in Piódão’s population, which makes us wonder that this story may be more than just a legend…
More than just making up a part of one of our country’s most famous love stories, Piódão deserves a visit for being one of the most peculiar Historical Villages of Portugal. From the Serra do Açor, it looks like a “village of dolls” and reminds us of the village of Asterix. So much so that here we feel we have abruptly entered one of our childhood stories. Through the winding and narrow alleyways of the terraces of the Serra, with schist houses dotted with blue, we believe that there are still places that Man’s greed has not touched, where we can still have the privilege to feel one with nature and History, happy to be a part of this immense circle of life.