Skip to main content
Important Figures

King Manuel I

D. Manuel I (1469 – 1521)

Was the fifth king of the second dynasty and reigned from 1495 until his death.  

There was nothing to suggest that Manuel would become king of Portugal. Although he was the grandson of King Duarte, he was only a cousin of King John II, which left him low down in the line of succession. But the death of the crown prince, Afonso, eventually resulted in Manuel being proclaimed king in 1495. 

Manuel I lived in the Royal Palace for a long time and even celebrated his marriage to Maria of Aragon here. 

He carried out lots of building works to make it bigger and more pleasant. In the ruins of the palace we see today, there are several architectural features from this period: a Manueline portal, columns and armillary spheres, the symbol of D. Manuel I, can be found in the castle’s Museum Centre and on the Gate of the Holy Spirit.  

It was at the Royal Palace that he celebrated his marriage to Maria of Aragon and John III, future king of Portugal, was born here. It is said that Gil Vicente staged a play called The Act of the Visitation, or Monologue of the Cowboy to celebrate the birth of the prince It was the first time there had been theatre in Portugal! 

Did you know that…

Although he carried out works at the Castle Palace, Manuel I ordered the construction of a new palace by the riverside: the Paço Real da Ribeira (Royal Riverside Palace), where he lived until his death in 1521?