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The conquest of Lisbon

The conquest of Lisbon

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Prior to entering the Church of the Martyrs, look over at the profile of the St George castle that stamps the horizon at the bottom of Rua Garrett, beyond the Chiado Shopping Centre. That is the very same perspective had by participants in the Crusades. They came from France, England, Germany and Flanders to help Afonso Henriques in his 1147 conquest of Lisbon from the Moors.

On one of the strategic points for a western assault, there were the English, Scotch and Normandy forces. On the other, the German, Flemish and northern Crusaders. On the hill of Graça, the 5,000 men gathered by Afonso Henriques. To the south, the siege was completed by boats anchored out in the Tagus. In the 17 weeks (from June to October) that the siege of Lisbon lasted, the fierce fighting resulted in enormous bloodshed with thousands of lives lost.

Many of the attackers were buried on this hill hence its name, the Martyrs, for all those who died on the Crusades against the enemies of the Christian faith.


The conquest of Lisbon
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