The Arch of Memory
Near the village called Casal do Rei , Afonso Henriques
(1111-1185), first king of Portugal, camped with his troops, when coming from
Coimbra, went to Santarem, pursuing his fight against Arabians.
There, at the summit of a small mount, he promised to give those lands to the Monastery of Alcobaca, since he was well succeeded in his campaign.
Fulfilled that was this promise, still in his reign, the Arch of Memory, headed by this monarch’s statue, was built, to commemorate the event.
At 12 of January 1912, the arch collapsed. To prevent its deviation, the statue was brought to Caldas da Rainha and, later to Leiria.
Recently, inhabitants of Casal do Rei perceived the historic value of that place. The arch was rebuilt and proceedings were made to have the statue back, but until now, they have counted with the opposition of the authorities of Leiria.
The following pages tell something more about this matter.