Meet the countess

Source: Wikipedia

A long, long time ago, before there was a country called Portugal, in the 10th century, there lived a noblewoman called Mumadona Dias. Her parents were counts and she married… well, a count.

Not many details are known about her life. However, it was after her husband’s death that Mumadona became a relatively well-known figure and, in fact, the most powerful woman of the time in the North West of the Iberian Peninsula.

How did she manage that? Very simple: after the death of her husband she refused to marry again, becoming the owner of lands which included a big chunk of what is today the North of Portugal and which extended all the way down to modern-day Coimbra. This would prove crucial to the definition of what would later become the kingdom of Portugal.

Among the many things she did during her administration the most notorious was, probably, ordering the construction of the castle of Guimarães to protect the population from Viking raids (yes, there were Viking raids along our coast). This same castle would, also, be fundamental in the foundation of the country.


This statue can be found in Guimarães, a city which the countess founded.



    • I don’t really think so… Back in those days most people didn’t care about having some kind of record about people’s appearances. If you look at medieval kings in Europe, for example, most of them look very similar in the art of their own time: more or less big beards, more or less big swords, more or less long hair. 😉

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