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Quinta de Santa Isabel is located in the medieval village of Santo Estêvão. Some of its dependencies, today apartments for rural tourism, were once fortresses of its ancient castle.

There is historical evidence that proves the existence of this settlement already in prehistoric times, but the first documental evidence is from May 12th 1074, prior to the independence of the Portucalense County.

Santo Estêvão and the region of Chaves formed part of the dowry of D. Teresa, daughter of Alfonso VI of León and Castile, when in 1095 she married Earl D. Henry of Burgundy. The Chaves region was conquered by the Moors in 1129 and conquered back 31 years later, by Rui and Garcia Lopes, two knights of adventure that offered their services to D. Afonso Henriques, son of D. Teresa and Earl D. Henrique, recognized as King of Portugal by D. Fernando II of León.

In 1169, during the disastrous journey of Badajoz, D. Afonso Henriques was wounded and imprisoned. For his ransom, D. Afonso Henriques had to give up places and castles that he had painfully won, but the Castle of Santo Estêvão remained in possession of the King of Portugal.

D. Sancho I, son of D. Afonso Henriques, celebrated at the Castle of Santo Estêvão the marriage of his daughter D. Teresa with D. Alfonso IX, King of Léon. In this same castle lived for many years the other daughters of D. Sancho I, D. Mafalda and D. Sancha, and his son D. Afonso who came to succeed his father in the kingdom of Portugal as D. Afonso II.

D. Alfonso IX, King of Léon, and D. Teresa, granddaughter of D. Afonso Henriques, separated by papal imposition. However D. Alfonso sided with his ex-wife in the dispute with the King of Portugal D. Afonso II, her brother. The Castle of Santo Estêvão, was taken as pledge or surety in that dispute and remained for 19 years in the power of Léon. Only in 1231 was it restored to Portugal, in the Convention established by Ferdinand III of Castile and D. Sancho II in Sabugal.

After his separation from D. Matilda of Bologna, the brother of D. Sancho II, D. Afonso, who was to become D. Afonso III of Portugal, married again with D. Beatriz, illegitimate daughter of Alfonso X, King of Castile and León. The meeting took place in Bragança on May 10th, 1253, following thence to Santo Estêvão.

D. Afonso III and D. Beatriz were living in Santo Estêvão. It is from this place that several charters are granted and confirmed. The charter of the village of Santo Estêvão was issued on May 15th, 1258 and signed by D. Beatriz and other important witnesses, including Fernando Fernandes Cogominho whose coat of arms can still be seen on the wall of one of the houses of Quinta de Santa Isabel, where he certainly lived. D. Afonso III instructed Fernando Fernandes Cogominho, his trusted man, the additional works of construction of the Castle of Chaves and later appointed him mayor.

D. Dinis, son and successor of D. Afonso III, came to Santo Estêvão to wait for his bride, D. Isabel, daughter of the King of Aragon D. Pedro III. They spent the night in the citadel of the castle, which included one of the houses that still exists at Quinta de Santa Isabel. The virtues and goodness of the Queen Isabel, to whom the people attributed miraculous interventions to the point of living her the epithet of Santa, completely transformed the attitudes and the ill will of her royal husband until her death in 1325.

Another memorable episode of the village of Santo Estêvão occurred in 1380, during the visit of D. João, Master of Avis, defender of the Kingdom and future King João I. Five years later he was camping with his hosts in the ancient town of Santo Estêvão, preparing for the daring assault of Chaves, whose mayor had sworn allegiance to Castile. Tradition also has it that D. João I, accompanied by his faithful army, came many years later, in 1423, spending Christmas Eve in the protective shadow of the Castle of Santo Estêvão.

In the second half of the seventeenth century, in 1666, during the long struggle of the Restoration, Santo Estêvão was occupied by the troops of General Pantoja, who was after defeated by Francisco de Tavora, Cavalry General and Earl of Alvor.

Today in the castle one can still visit the lofty and almost millennial keep and church tower to reminisce about the rich history of the past of the medieval village of Santo Estêvão which includes Quinta de Santa Isabel.

Quinta Santa Isabel vous invite donc à songer au passé lointain du début de la nationalité Portugaise.