Portugese Monarch. He reigned as King of Portugal from 1279 to 1325. He was the son of king Afonso III of Portugal and his queen Beatrice of Castile.As heir to the throne prince Dinis was summoned by his father to share government responsibilities. At the time of his accession to the throne, Portugal was in diplomatic conflict with the Catholic Church. Dinis signed a favouring agreement with the pope, and agreed to protect the Church's interests in Portugal. Due to this, he granted asylum to the Templar knights persecuted in France and created the Order of Christ, designed to be the continuation of the Order of the Temple.With the Reconquista completed and the Moors thrown out, Dinis was essentially an administrative king, not a military one. He was a notably peace-loving monarch. Dinis's main priority of government was the organization of the country. He gave Portugal a new civil and criminal law code, that protected the lower classes from abuse and extortion. As king he traveled around the country, correction unjust and resolving problems. He rdered the construction of numerous castles and created new towns. With his wife, Queen Isabella of Aragon, Dinis worked to improve the life of the poor and founded several social institutions.Always concerned with the country's infrastructure, Dinis ordered the expolration of mines of copper, silver, tin and iron, and the first Portuguese commercial agreement with England was signed in 1308.His main concern was the redevelopment and promotion of rural infrastructure, hence the nickname "the Farmer". Dinis redistributed the land, promoted agriculture, organized communities of farmers and took personal interest in the development of exportations. He instituted regular markets in a number of owns. One of his main achievements was the protection of agricultural lands from the advancing coastal sands, by ordering the plantation of a pine forest near Leiria. This forest still exists as one of the most important forests of Portugal and is known as the Pinhal de Leiria. Culture was another interest of king Dinis. The University of Coimbra was founded by his decree Magna Charta Priveligiorum.The latest part of his peaceful reign was nevertheless marked by internal conflicts. The contenders were his two sons: Afonso IV, the legitimate heir and Afonso Sanches, his natural son, who quarrelled frequently for Royal favour.
Bio by: Benny Chordt Hansen
Saint Elizabeth of Aragon