Conquest of Santarém

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Conquest of Santarém
Part of the Portuguese Reconquista
Conquista de Santarem.JPG
The Conquest of Santarém by Alfredo Roque Gameiro
Date15 March 1147
Result Portuguese victory [1]
PortugueseFlag1143.svg Kingdom of Portugal Flag of Almohad Dynasty.svg Almoravid Empire
Commanders and leaders
Afonso I of Portugal Auzary, governor of Santarém
250 knights Unknown
Casualties and losses
Unknown Very high

The Conquest of Santarém took place on 15 March 1147, when the troops of the Kingdom of Portugal under the leadership of Afonso I of Portugal captured the Almoravid city of Santarém.

Kingdom of Portugal kingdom in Southwestern Europe between 1139 and 1910

The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910. After 1415, it was also known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves, and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves. The name is also often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realm's extensive overseas colonies.

Afonso I of Portugal 12th-century King of Portugal

Afonso I, nicknamed the Conqueror, the Founder or the Great by the Portuguese, and El-Bortukali [in Arabic البرتقالي] and Ibn-Arrink [in Arabic ابن الرَّنك or ابن الرَنْق] by the Moors whom he fought, was the first King of Portugal. He achieved the independence of the southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia, the County of Portugal, from Galicia's overlord, the King of León, in 1139, establishing a new kingdom and doubling its area with the Reconquista, an objective that he pursued until his death in 1185, after forty-six years of wars against the Moors.

Santarém, Portugal Municipality in Ribatejo, Portugal

Santarém is a city and municipality located in the district of Santarém in Portugal. The population in 2011 was 61,752, in an area of 552.54 km². The population of the city proper was 29,929 in 2012.



On 10 March 1147, King Afonso I of Portugal departed from Coimbra with 250 of his best knights [2] intending to capture the Moorish city of Santarém, a goal that he had previously failed to achieve. [2] The conquest of Santarém was of vital importance to Afonso's strategy; its possession would mean the end of the frequent Moorish attacks on Leiria and would also allow a future attack on Lisbon.[ citation needed ]

Coimbra Municipality in Centro, Portugal

Coimbra is a city and a municipality in Portugal. The population at the 2011 census was 143,397, in an area of 319.40 square kilometres (123.3 sq mi). The fourth-largest urban centre in Portugal, it is the largest city of the district of Coimbra and the Centro Region. About 460,000 people live in the Região de Coimbra, comprising 19 municipalities and extending into an area 4,336 square kilometres (1,674 sq mi).

Knight An award of an honorary title for past or future service with its roots in chivalry in the Middle Ages

A knight is a man granted an honorary title of knighthood by a monarch, bishop or other political or religious leader for service to the monarch or a Christian church, especially in a military capacity. Historically, in all Europe, knighthood was conferred upon mounted warriors. During the High Middle Ages, knighthood was considered a class of lower nobility. By the Late Middle Ages, the rank had become associated with the ideals of chivalry, a code of conduct for the perfect courtly Christian warrior. Often, a knight was a vassal who served as an elite fighter, a bodyguard or a mercenary for a lord, with payment in the form of land holdings. The lords trusted the knights, who were skilled in battle on horseback.

Leiria Municipality in Centro, Portugal

Leiria is a city and a municipality in the Centro Region of Portugal. It is the capital of Leiria District. The population in 2011 was 126,879, in an area of 565.09 square kilometres (218.18 sq mi). It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Leiria-Fátima.

The plan now was to attack the city during the night under cover of darkness, in order to catch the Moorish garrison by surprise. [2] King Afonso had previously sent the Portuguese Mem Ramires to Santarém disguised as a businessman, in order to secretly study the city for the conquest. [2]

After the first day of the journey from Coimbra to Santarém, King Afonso I sent an emissary to Santarém announcing to the Moors that the truce had ended, for which three days' notice was required. [1]

Afonso I, first King of Portugal AfonsoI-P.jpg
Afonso I, first King of Portugal

Fall of Santarém

On the night of 14 March, King Afonso and his army arrived at Santarém [2] and hid ladders in the fields. [1] Before dawn the next morning, 25 knights scaled the walls, killed the Moorish sentries and forced their way to the gate, allowing the main Portuguese army to enter the city. [2] Awakened by the screams of their sentries, the Moors ran from all sides to face the Portuguese attackers in the streets, offering very strong resistance, but ended up being defeated and slaughtered. [2]

By morning the conquest was already complete and Santarém became part of the recently formed Kingdom of Portugal. [2]


After the conquest of Santarém, Afonso I of Portugal turned his attention to the important Moorish city of Lisbon, which he would conquer in October with the help of a crusader fleet of the Second Crusade who stopped in Portugal while on course to the Holy Land. [3]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 H. V. Livermore, p. 57
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Ângelo Ribeiro, p. 69
  3. Ângelo Ribeiro, p. 70

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