County of Coimbra

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The County of Coimbra (Portuguese: Condado de Coimbra) was a political entity consisting of the lands of Coimbra, Viseu, Lamego and Santa Maria da Feira, in modern Portugal. It arose within the Kingdom of Asturias following the reconquest of the region, when the lands were granted to count Hermenegildo Gutiérrez, who over the next four decades was largely responsible for the resettlement of the depopulated province. He and his immediate successors were counts, and held Coimbra, but were not explicitly Counts of Coimbra, although they are sometimes referred to as such retrospectively. The first nobleman specifically to be called Count of Coimbra was Gonzalo Muñoz, who was probably a scion of the family of Hermenegildo. Becoming Count around 959, he was one of the most powerful noblemen in the western part of the kingdom until he rose in rebellion against king Bermudo II of León and was probably killed during the region's subjugation. The degree to which his successors were alienated from their monarch can be seen when, following the region's recapture in 987 by the Moors of Al-Mansur, Gonzalo's sons joined that general in his sack of Santiago de Compostela in 997.

The city of Coimbra was permanently secured by the Christians in 1064, having been taken by the troops of King Ferdinand I of León and Castile, led by the mozarab Sisnando Davides who would then be named its count. It ceased to be an independent political entity when it was incorporated in the territory of the Second County of Portugal at the time of the latter's restoration in 1096 under Henry of Burgundy, and subsequently formed part of the newly founded Kingdom of Portugal under Henry's son, Afonso I.

List of counts[edit]

Early holders of Coimbra who were counts
  • Hermenegildo Gutiérrez (878-920); (Conqueror of Coimbra) Dux Bellorum of Coimbra.
  • Arias Menéndez (920-924), son of Hermenegildo
  • Gutierre Menéndez (924-934), son of Hermenegildo
  • Munio Gutiérrez (934-959), son of Gutierre, son-in-law of Arias
Counts of Coimbra, first creation
  • Gonzalo Muñoz (959-981), probably son of Munio
  • Munio González (983-987), son of Gonzalo
Counts of Coimbra, second creation
  • Sisnando Davides (1064/1075–1091)
  • Martín Muñoz (1091–1093), son-in-law of Sisnando