Eleanor of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress

Eleanor of Portugal (18 September 1434 – 3 September 1467) was Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. A Portuguese infanta (princess), daughter of King Edward of Portugal and his wife Eleanor of Aragon, she was the consort of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III and the mother of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I.

Eleanor of Portugal
Hans Burgkmair d. Ä. 006
Portrait probably by Hans Burgkmair the Elder
Tenure19 March 1452 – 3 September 1467
Born18 September 1434
Torres Vedras
Died3 September 1467 (aged 32)
Wiener Neustadt
SpouseFrederick III, Holy Roman Emperor
HouseAviz (by birth)
Habsburg (by marriage)
FatherEdward, King of Portugal
MotherEleanor of Aragon
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Eleanor was born in Torres Vedras on 18 September 1434, one of the nine children of King Edward of Portugal and Eleanor of Aragon. She was the third eldest daughter, but her two older sisters died when they were young, leaving Eleanor as the eldest surviving daughter.

When her father died five days before her fourth birthday, Eleanor's brother Afonso V succeeded him as king with her mother as regent. The following March, her mother gave birth to another daughter, Joan, who would become the notorious wife of Henry IV of Castile.

In 1440, Eleanor's mother was forced to go into exile in Castile after losing litigation against her brother-in-law Peter, Duke of Coimbra, for the regency of the young King Afonso. She left Eleanor behind, because she was ill at the time.


Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal
Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal.

Eleanor's marriage partner was likely suggested by her aunt Isabella of Portugal, Duchess of Burgundy. Arrangements were made by Eleanor's maternal uncle Alfonso V, King of Aragon and Naples, who, in 1448, sent artists from his court to paint Eleanor. Eleanor was also suggested as a marriage partner for Louis, Dauphin of France, the eldest son of King Charles VII, but she herself preferred to marry Frederick, because a match with him would give her the title of empress instead of queen. The practical negotiations were made in Naples and completed in 1451. During the sea travel, the fleet escorting Eleanor to Italy was tormented by pirates and storms, and there were rumours that she had been lost at sea. Eleanor and Frederick met in Sienna: Frederick was said to have paled when he saw her, partly out of excitement for her beauty, but also out of worry that she would have troubles giving birth because of her slender and frail appearance. The marriage took place in Rome. Upon her coronation, she was also given the name Helena, but she never used this name. The festivities was hosted by her uncle, the king of Naples.

Eleanor and Frederick were dissimilar and never happy. She was an ambitious and willful woman who frequently participated in intrigues, whereas the emperor was a sober and uninspiring man. Her interest in dancing, gambling and hunting was not shared by Frederick, and their relationship was affected by their differences. Frederick sent Eleanor's vast Portuguese entourage home after the wedding because of the cost, and she suffered from homesickness; he also blamed her for causing the death of several of their children by letting them eat Portuguese food, and therefore took over the upbringing of the remaining children entirely for himself. During a period of siege in Vienna, when people were forced to eat rats, cats and dogs, she was known for trying to cheer people up. In historical writings, there is a sense that Eleanor was taken from a splendid, extravagant and luxurious court in Portugal to a cultural wasteland in Vienna because of her spouse's strict economic sense.

Marriage and children

Pintoricchio 002a
Eneias Silvio Piccolomini (the future Pope Pius II) celebrating the marriage between Frederick III and Eleanor.

On 16 March 1452 in Rome, she married the German King Frederick III, and the two were crowned Holy Roman Emperor and Empress three days later, on 19 March 1452, by Pope Nicholas V at St. Peter's Basilica. Her dowry was used by her husband to alleviate his financial problems and cement his power. Frederick III was the last Holy Roman Emperor to be crowned in Rome.

With Frederick III she had five children:

Eleanor died in Wiener Neustadt on 3 September 1467 and is buried in the Neukloster, the Cistercian monastery of that same city, where her tombstone may be seen.


  1. ^ a b Stephens, Henry Morse (1903). The Story of Portugal. G.P. Putnam's Sons. p. 139. Retrieved 17 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n de Sousa, Antonio Caetano (1735). Historia genealogica da casa real portugueza [Genealogical History of the Royal House of Portugal] (in Portuguese). 2. Lisboa Occidental. p. 497.
  3. ^ a b John I, King of Portugal at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  4. ^ a b c d e f Armitage-Smith, Sydney (1905). John of Gaunt: King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, Lincoln, and Leicester, Seneschal of England. Charles Scribner's Sons. p. 21. Retrieved 17 July 2018.
  5. ^ a b Peter I, King of Portugal at the Encyclopædia Britannica
  6. ^ a b de Sousa, Antonio Caetano (1735). Historia genealogica da casa real portugueza [Genealogical History of the Royal House of Portugal] (in Portuguese). 2. Lisboa Occidental. p. 4.
  • Sigrid-Maria Größing, AEIOU - Glück und Unglück im österreichischen Kaiserhaus, Verlag Amalthea, ISBN 978-3-85002-633-8
Elanor of Portugal
Cadet branch of the House of Burgundy
Born: 18 September 1434  Died: 3 September 1467
Royal titles
Title last held by
Elizabeth of Luxembourg
Queen of the Romans
Title next held by
Bianca Maria Sforza
Title last held by
Barbara of Cilli
Holy Roman Empress

Year 1434 (MCDXXXIV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.


Year 1467 (MCDLXVII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar.

Albert V, Duke of Bavaria

Albert V (German: Albrecht V.) (29 February 1528 – 24 October 1579) was Duke of Bavaria from 1550 until his death. He was born in Munich to William IV and Maria Jacobäa of Baden.

Bianca Maria Sforza

Bianca Maria Sforza (5 April 1472 – 31 December 1510) was a Queen of the Romans and Holy Roman Empress as the second spouse of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. She was the eldest legitimate daughter of Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Duke of Milan, by his second wife, Bona of Savoy.

Eleanor of Austria

Eleanor of Austria (15 November 1498 – 25 February 1558), also called Eleanor of Castile, was born an Archduchess of Austria and Infanta of Castile from the House of Habsburg, and subsequently became Queen consort of Portugal (1518–1521) and of France (1530–1547). She also held the Duchy of Touraine (1547–1558) in dower. She is called "Leonor" in Spanish and Portuguese and "Eléonore" or "Aliénor" in French.

Eleanor of Austria (disambiguation)

Eleanor of Austria may refer to:

Archduchesses of Austria by birth:

Eleanor of Austria (1498–1558), daughter of Philip the Handsome

Eleanor of Austria, Duchess of Mantua (1534–1594), daughter of Emperor Ferdinand I

Archduchess Eleanor (1582–1620), daughter of Archduke Charles II

Eleanor of Austria, Queen of Poland (1653–1697), daughter of Emperor Ferdinand III

Eleonore von Habsburg (born 1994), granddaughter of Otto, Crown Prince of Austria

Archduchesses of Austria by marriage:

Eleanor of Scotland (1433–1480), wife of Sigismund, Archduke of Austria

Eleanor of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress (1434–1467), wife of Emperor Frederick III

Eleonor Gonzaga (1598–1655), wife of Emperor Ferdinand II

Eleanor Gonzaga (1630–1686), wife of Emperor Ferdinand III

Eleanor of Portugal

Eleanor or Leonor of Portugal is the name of:

Eleanor of Portugal, Queen of Denmark (1211–1231), daughter of Afonso II of Portugal and wife of Valdemar, co-King of Denmark

Eleanor of Portugal, Queen of Aragon (1328–1348), daughter of Afonso IV of Portugal and wife of Peter IV of Aragon

Eleanor of Portugal, Holy Roman Empress (1434–1467), daughter of Edward I of Portugal and wife of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor

Eleanor of Viseu (1458–1525), aka Eleanor of Lancaster, daughter of Infante Ferdinand, Duke of Viseu and Infanta Beatrice, Duchess of Viseu, wife of John II of Portugal

Eleanor of Austria (1498–1558), Queen consort of Portugal (1518–1521)

Hans Burgkmair

Hans Burgkmair the Elder (1473–1531) was a German painter and woodcut printmaker.

House of Aviz

The House of Aviz (modern Portuguese: Avis; Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈviʃ]) known as the Joanine Dynasty was the second dynasty of the kings of Portugal. In 1385, the Interregnum of the 1383-1385 crisis ended when the Cortes of Coimbra proclaimed the Master of the monastic military Order of Aviz as King John I. John was the natural (illegitimate) son of King Peter I and Dona Teresa Lourenço, and so was half-brother to the last king of the Portuguese House of Burgundy or Afonsine Dynasty, Ferdinand I of Portugal. The House of Aviz continued to rule Portugal until Philip II of Spain inherited the Portuguese crown with the Portuguese succession crisis of 1580.

The descendants of King John I were still also Masters of Aviz, though at times that title passed to one descendant of John and the Crown of Portugal to another. The title of Grand Master of the Order of Aviz was permanently incorporated into the Portuguese Crown toward the end of rule by the House of Aviz, in 1551.

Kunigunde of Austria

Kunigunde of Austria (German: Kunigunde von Österreich; 16 March 1465 – 6 August 1520), a member of the House of Habsburg, was Duchess of Bavaria from 1487 to 1508, by her marriage to the Wittelsbach duke Albert IV.

Louis VI, Elector Palatine

Ludwig VI, Elector Palatine (4 July 1539 in Simmern – 22 October 1583 in Heidelberg), was an Elector from the Palatinate-Simmern branch of the house of Wittelsbach. He was the first-born son of Frederick III, Elector Palatine and Marie of Brandenburg-Kulmbach.

Louis X, Duke of Bavaria

Louis X (German: Ludwig X, Herzog von Bayern), (Grünwald, 18 September 1495 – 22 April 1545 in Landshut) was Duke of Bavaria (1516–1545), together with his older brother William IV, Duke of Bavaria. His parents were Albert IV and Kunigunde of Austria, a daughter of Emperor Frederick III.

Philip II, Margrave of Baden-Baden

Margrave Philip II of Baden (born 19 February 1559 in Baden-Baden – died 7 June 1588 in Baden-Baden) was from 1571 to 1588 Margrave of the Margraviate of Baden-Baden. He was the son of the Protestant Margrave Philibert of Baden-Baden and the Catholic Mechthild of Bavaria.

Sabina of Bavaria

Sabina of Bavaria-Munich (24 April 1492 – 30 August 1564) was Duchess consort of Württemberg by marriage to Ulrich, Duke of Württemberg.

September 18

September 18 is the 261st day of the year (262nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 104 days remain until the end of the year.

September 3

September 3 is the 246th day of the year (247th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 119 days remain until the end of the year.

Susanna of Bavaria

Susanna of Bavaria (2 April 1502 – 23 April 1543) was a German noblewoman. Born in Munich, she was the daughter of Albert IV, Duke of Bavaria, and Kunigunde of Austria, herself the daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick III and Eleanor of Portugal. Her paternal grandparents were Albert III, Duke of Bavaria, and Anna of Brunswick-Grubenhagen-Einbeck.

William IV, Duke of Bavaria

William IV (German: Wilhelm IV; 13 November 1493 – 7 March 1550) was Duke of Bavaria from 1508 to 1550, until 1545 together with his younger brother Louis X, Duke of Bavaria.

He was born in Munich to Albert IV and Kunigunde of Austria, a daughter of Emperor Frederick III.

Ancestors of Eleanor of Portugal
16. Afonso IV of Portugal[5]
8. Peter I of Portugal[3] (= 30)
17. Beatrice of Castile[5]
4. John I of Portugal[1]
18. Lourenço Martins[6]
9. Teresa Lourenço[3]
19. Sancha Martins[6]
2. Edward, King of Portugal
20. Edward III of England[4]
10. John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster[4]
21. Philippa of Hainault[4]
5. Philippa of Lancaster[1]
22. Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster[4]
11. Blanche of Lancaster[4]
23. Isabel of Beaumont[4]
1. Eleanor of Portugal
24. Henry II of Castile[2]
12. John I of Castile[2]
25. Juana Manuel[2]
6. Ferdinand I of Aragon[2]
26. Peter IV of Aragon[2]
13. Eleanor of Aragon[2]
27. Eleanor of Sicily[2]
3. Eleanor of Aragon
28. Alfonso XI of Castile[2]
14. Sancho Alfonso, 1st Count of Alburquerque[2]
29. Eleanor of Guzman[2]
7. Eleanor of Alburquerque[2]
30. Peter I of Portugal[2] (= 8)
15. Beatrice of Portugal[2]
31. Inês de Castro[2]

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