Porto Train Station. Azulejos work in the main hall
This tiled painting shows the King of Spain King Alfonso VII with the Portuguese Crusader Knight Egas Moniz and his family presenting themselves as penitents, barefoot with ropes around their necks, falling on the mercy of the king. This event took place in Toledo and represents the principle of "Honour above all even at the cost of freedom and life".At this time in history the North African Moors had occupied most of Spain and what was to become Portugal for over 300 years. The Christian fightback to push the moors out of the Iberian Peninsula was being led by King Alfonso VII of Leon who had declared himself king of all Spain, Portugal at that time was just known as the County of Portucale and part of the new Spain.Egas Moniz de Ribadouro was the richest man in the County of Portucale. The Count of Portucale, the Duke of Burgundy entrusted the education of his son Dom Afonso Henriques to Egas Moniz. When Afonso Henriques came of age he battled for the independence of Portugal.King Alfonso VII, King of Spain was not happy with the situation and laid siege to the capital of the county of Portucale, Guimaraes, native city of Dom Afonso Henriques. Egas Moniz was sent to the King of Spain to represent him where it was agreed that Dom Afonso Henriques, and Portugal would be a vassal of the King of Spain.This peace did not last long. Afonso Henriques went back on his word. He declared Portugal an independent country. He won a battle against the Spanish at Cerneia in 1137. Having given his word to the Spanish King, Egas Moniz felt that the only honourable thing he could do was offer himself and his family up to the justice of King Alfonso VII. The king was so moved by his great display of honour that he sent him back to Portugal without taking any action against him.