Maria of Portugal, Duchess of Viseu

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For other people of the same name, see Maria of Portugal.
Maria of Portugal
Duchess of Viseu
Marie de Portugal 1521 1577.jpg
House House of Aviz
Father Manuel I of Portugal
Mother Eleanor of Austria
Born 18 June 1521
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Died 10 October 1577(1577-10-10) (aged 56)
Lisbon, Kingdom of Portugal
Burial Chapel of Our Lady of Luz
Religion Roman Catholicism

Maria of Portugal, Duchess of Viseu (18 June 1521 in Lisbon – 10 October 1577 in Lisbon; Portuguese pronunciation: [mɐˈɾiɐ]; English: Mary) was a Portuguese infanta (princess) daughter of King Manuel I and his wife Eleanor of Austria.


Maria was born on June 18, 1521 in Lisbon. In December the same year, her father died and her step-brother John III became king. Shortly afterwards, Maria's mother, the dowager queen Eleanor, returned to her brother's court in Vienna, taking Maria with her.

In 1530, Eleanor married King Francis I of France and moved to France. Maria would not see her mother for nearly 28 years. Meanwhile, in 1525, Eleanor's younger sister (Maria's aunt) Catherine had married Maria's step-brother John III of Portugal. At some point, Maria moved from Vienna to Lisbon. She was to live in Portugal, at the court of her step-brother and his family, for the rest of her life.

In 1556, Eleanor (now again widowed and with no other living children) retired to Jarandilla de la Vera in Spain with her sister Mary. In 1558, both mother and daughter traveled from their respective residences to the town of Badajoz on the Luso-Hispanic border and met after a gap of 28 years. Eleanor asked the unwed Maria to come and live with her. Maria refused the request and only remained with her mother for three weeks before returning to Lisbon. Eleanor died very shortly afterwards, on her return journey to Jarandilla de la Vera from Badajoz.

Maria died unmarried and childless in Lisbon on October 10, 1577. She is buried in the Chapel of Our Lady of Luz.


Maria is often referred (like her mother) as a protector of the arts and writing.[1] She was at one point considered as a second wife for her nephew and cousin (the future Philip II of Spain).[2]

See also[edit]



Media related to Infanta Maria, Duchess of Viseu at Wikimedia Commons

  1. ^ Paulo Pereira, Enciclopédia dos Lugares Mágicos de Portugal, volume IX
  2. ^ Juan de Mariana: Historia general de España, vol. XIV