The Four Leiria Cortes, General Courts

The town of Leiria developed from the hill where the castle is deployed. After the thirteenth century went downhill until you reach the river Lis. Leiria was born the Roman Collipo, founded in the first century BC, which have existed on the hill of San Sebastian, near Andreus.

The entire town was under Moorish rule, until 1135, D. Afonso Henriques conquered the castle, giving it a charter in 1142. The fortress was rebuilt by Sancho in 1192, which granted a charter in 1195. This year there -if the last attack of the Muslims.

Although Afonso III in 1254, gather cuts in Leiria, only the reign of King Dinis the castle would be enacted royal residence (this time was donated to Santa Isabel of Aragon along with the commander’s residence). From there, the population expansion occurred outside the protective walls of the castle. The walls again surrounded the village because the dangers of new wars with Castile were always present.

In 1385 began the dynasty of Aviz to the Battle of Aljubarrota. That’s when peace is established defenitiva with Castile. It has also started expansion in North Africa.

While the kingdom was said abroad, the town grew to the river. The streets and squares fifteenth receive the renowned medieval fairs in the kingdom. The economic development situation and social developments of the fifteenth century allowed in Leiria were created the first paper mill and one of the first typographical workshops kingdom.

It was during the sixteenth century who built the Cathedral and the Church of Mercy. In Rodrigues Lobo Square, the old city center, was built, also at this time, the Palace of the Marquises of Vila Real. In this place will have been a hospital at St. Maninho.

The poet Francisco Rodrigues Lobo says in its seventeenth-century poetry on the Church of St. Augustine’s Convent, baroque, and also the panoramic views only possible to reach the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Incarnation.

From this place one can see the city, the Monte Real Spa and the famous Pinhal de Leiria, base of the caravels used in the Portuguese Discoveries. This secular pine forest exists today and continues to circle the Lake Ervedeira.

During the history of Portugal were made many Cortes in Leiria:

Leiria Cortes 1254

In 1254, D. Afonso III summoned representatives of the clergy, the nobility and the people to carry out Leiria Cortes. From that date, the old court nobles and clergy gave rise to a new institution, the emerging concept of “political pact” between the monarch and his subjects. Over the centuries, the cuts that took place in the church of San Pedro, within the walls of Castelo de Leiria, gave birth to the modern Parliament.

Leiria Cortes 1372

Gathered the new cuts in Leiria in 1372, in the reign of Ferdinand, they were marked by some of the popular opposition to the king’s wishes, who wanted to increase taxes to cover the state treasury and wage war to Castile. Amongst other grievances, representatives of municipalities were unhappy with taxes, the monarch worsened without consulting them, and changing the value of the currency. Records underscores the already apparent dependence on the king himself before the powers of Cortes.

Leiria Cortes of 1376

These Cortes took place in November 1376 with the sole purpose of performing the preitos and menagens to infants Beatriz of Portugal and D. Fradique de Castilla. Not any of them remaining chapters and only come down to us the testimony of one chronicler Fernão Lopes, the attorney of the county of Arronches, Elvas, Évora-Monte, Leiria Sortelha and their representatives as well as the actual text of preitos and menagens.

Leiria Cortes 1438

Finally, Duarte called Cuts to Leiria in 1438. In them it came from a problem of larger amounts: the Infant rescue Ferdinand, who had been captured in Tangier and in exchange for whose release was demanded delivery of Ceuta square. The opinions shown to be divided and was not taken any resolution. The infant, of course, would eventually die in captivity.

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