On this day in 1689 was born one of the longest-reigning kings of Portugal, Dom João V, or John V.
He was not yet 18 when he succeeded to the throne on the death his father, Dom Pedro II, in 1706. His mother having died years before, he was close to his aunt, Caterina, the Dowager Queen of England, known to English speakers as Catherine of Braganza. He relied heavily on her advice until her sudden death within a year of his father’s.
Dom João married an Austrian archduchess and reigned until he was struck down by a stroke in 1750, when he was succeeded by his eldest son Dom José. Dom João interests us here at Versailles Century because he was a great builder and patron of the arts.