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The County of Portugal was a political unit in in the Reconquista Iberian Peninsula. According to tradition, it was established by Vímara Peres after the reconquest of Porto in 868 and was incorporated in the Kingdom of Galicia in 1071, after the death of Count Nuno II Mendes (while it enjoyed a certain autonomy, it always remained a dependency of the Kingdom of León-Galicia). In 1093 the county of Portugal was offered by Alfonso VI of León and Castile to Henry of Burgundy (who gave his aid in the Reconquista and who also received the hand of Teresa of León, the king's daughter, in marriage). Henry's territories were larger than Nuno II's, including the territories of the old County of Coimbra, parts of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro and even the south of Galicia. This county would evolve in 1139 into the Kingdom of Portugal under Henry of Burgundy's son, Alfonso Henriques.

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The County of Portugal (Portuguese: Condado Portucalense, Condado de Portucale) was the region around Oporto and Braga, today corresponding to northern Portugal, from the late ninth to the early twelfth century, during which it was a fief of the Kingdom of León.

The Reconquista of Oporto by count Vimara Peres occurred in 868, which is the traditional beginning of the county of Portugal, said to have been established by Alfonso III of León. The county continued with varying degrees of autonomy within the Kingdom of León and, during brief periods of division, the Kingdom of Galicia until 1071, when Count Nuno II Mendes was defeated and killed by King García II of Galicia. An independent county was abolished and the territories joined to the crown of Galicia, and following reunification the next year, with that of Castile–León under Alfonso VI.

In 1096 Alfonso VI gave the hand of his illegitimate daughter Theresa in marriage to Henry of Burgundy and appointed him Count of Portugal, a territory which had formed the southern march of Raymond of Burgundy's Galician duchy.[1] Henry's son and successor, Afonso Henriques, declared himself king in 1139 and and over the next decades extracted Portugal from Leonese suzerainty.

Notes

  1. ^ Simon Barton, The Aristocracy in Twelfth-Century León and Castile (Cambridge University Press, 1997), 14.

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