Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Love, Art and Coimbra

Coimbra, a city in central Portugal, has one of the most beautiful - and creepy - love stories ever to be heard. It is the story of Pedro and Inês, a Portuguese heir to the throne and a Spanish aristocrat's maid. It has a tragic ending, much more gruesome than Romeo and Juliet (Pedro's own father, king Afonso IV, fears a political scandal and has Inês assissined), and contains what is one of the most extraordinary episodes in royal history: Pedro, besides declaring war on his father, declares he had wed his lover in secret shortly before her death, has her body exhumed and placed on a throne, and has the entire court kiss the dead girl's hand as a sign of loyalty to their sovereign.
Inês spent her last years in a Monastery in Coimbra, and the city is to this day associated with romance.
Now, what is particularly enjoyable in the story you are about to read, is that it happened in the same town, and yet, none of it ever meant to deal with the legend. It is but a simple story of two people. One of them happens to be the architect and artist Juan de la Mora.

"These hearts were painted by my girlfriend and I in Coimbra, Portugal a couple of years back. She is from Coimbra and I am from Chicago and we've been able to maintain a long distance relationship for the past 2.5 years. Since then, we continue to paint some of these hearts every time we are together in Coimbra. What is interesting about Portugal's Calçada (sidewalk), is that you can take a combination of a minimum of three stones and find the shape of an abstract heart form. The heart can grow by adding more stones to the original three."


kindra said...

The old love story is interesting, i've never heard it. I love the painted hearts all over the city. I notice random things like this all the time when i'm out in the streets and always wonder what the story behind it was.

Eline said...

Oh wow, everything about this is gorgeous.

San said...


carlos said...

Hi. I've been following your blog for the past two years.

I just thought that you might be interested in checking the work of my grilfriend and I, specially the one that deals with the idea of a long distance relationship.

Check it out at:


Natalis said...

łała łiła wery najs :) follołuję Cię.
fajny blog.

Canvas Paintings said...

Great story.

Muhabbet said...

The old love story is interesting, i've never heard it.

Lipincot Surley said...

Found your blog today, and as a portuguese person I've to check your posts labeled with the tag Portugal.
Like to see some of our stories written here.

Start following your blog. ;)

Have a nice day

Squeeky Fromm said...

What a beautiful story! Well, I wrote another poem.

The Heart Wants
A Paean To Pedro and Inez
by Squeeky Fromm

She sits now, upon the Throne
Royal rings rattle on bone.
A Macabre Oath of Fealty
Testifies to Reality.
The Heart wants what the Heart wants.

Admits to all, the Law of Kings
Cannot compel all things.
Cannot command the Tide or Sea
Nor banish love by Royal Decree.
The Heart wants what the Heart wants.

That not the Grave, nor even Death
Can extinguish Love’s Breath.
Confirms by Rite of Genuflection,
Love’s eternal Resurrection.
The Heart wants what the Heart wants.

( I hope you like it! You can use it if you like. Nooo, I'm NOT that one! )

Escada said...

I already knew this. It's an original idea, and i love it!! Going to visit your blog with more frequence.

Check my blog: chainedart.blogspot.com



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