Fauces Dorio Principality

General Data 2020

Cale da Cantareira1220 km²128 5643,2%Atlântico / AtlanticD. Nuno I

Location of the island in the Archipelago

The Principality of Fauces Dorio [in faucibus dialect: Principatus Faucensis Durii], is the most recent Island to be integrated into the Ventura Archipelago of the Gaston Kingdom; it is neighbour to the islands of Groselha, Horizonte, Santa Cruz and Solar. The Island is divided in three settlements (cales): Cale da Cantareira, Cale Cotê das Pegas and Cale de Portuzelo, the former being the capital of the Principality.

Cale da Cantareira is an interclassist settlement, however, it is known by the high refined dwellings of the upper class of the Principality; by its landscape with beautiful seaside gardens and a promenade filled with terraces and pubs, which make it the most sought-after of the island’s three cales. It’s at Cale da Cantareira that we can find the Palace of São Miguel-o-Arcanjo (Saint Michael the Archangel), the residence of the Head of the House of Borgonha-Bourbon and Orleans, His Very Serene Highness Prince Nuno I, which was erected in 1527.


It is believed that, like other islands of the same cluster, Fauces Dorio has been populated since ancient times. The first factual reports of settlement and construction date back to the 6th century, according to the Benedictine Frei Manuel Pereira de Novais, author of “ANACRISIS HISTORIAL”, where it is said that «ahí aportaram uns Embaixadores do Suevo Rex Theodimirus, & Elle próprio, & Ariarico, no anno Domini de 559. Por se acharem na Graça de Deus e em agradecimento por aquele desembarque, foi ordenado que ahí erguesse um Mosteyro» (there docked Embassadors of the Suebi Rex Theodimirus & Himself, & Ariarico, in the year of the Lord 559. As they found themselves in the Grace of God and in thanksgiving for that landing, it was ordered that a Monastery be erected).

However, in 1576, in the manuscript of “MONARCHIA ECCLISIASTICA” (Ecclesiastical Monarchy), chapter XII, book XXVII, the franciscan Frei Juan de Pineda reports that: «in the year of the World 2453 before Christ 1503 years, Pandiãol, son of Cécrope, King of Athens, & Metiadusa, wanted to acquire larger kingdoms and glory. Accompanied by some of his trusted men, he visited the Kingdom of Egypt, homeland of his father, where he was received by King Achorys. As he had won many battles, he wedded Gantareel, daughter of King Achorys.  Resolute in his desire for higher honor & fame for heroic deeds, he organized a fleet, departed from the Nile, and sailed through the Mediterranean Sea, conquering new lands for himself. Arriving at a river estuary – today named as Durii – at where it was believed to be the end of the World, he established a settlment half a league above it, to which he gave the name of GANTAREIA, today CANTAREIRA, because it was the name of his own beloved wife».

If this is true, the Island had a small settlement that for some time was inhabited by Greeks and Egyptians. However, the Greek colonizations, and even the Romans’, were late and feeble in this Island, maybe because it was the smallest of all.

However, it is known that in the mid 12th century, on October 1st 1145, a royal document was signed by D. Afonso Henriques, Dei Gratiae, Rex Portugalensium (King of Portugal), endowing lands, titles and the primacy of the then Settlement of Cantareira to his nephew D. Vasco Nune de Borgonha. The scrivener was the chancellor of the royal curia, Master Soeiro Mendo, and it was confirmed by three chosen elements of the same curia: Egas Moniz, clerk of the royal house, Álvaro Peres, high ensign, and Rodrigo Froiaz, lieutenant of the land of Santo Tirso.

Again followed centuries of obscurity. Of the period from 1145 to 1526 little is known; only that few years after D. João III rose to the throne, D. Miguel de Bourbon became not only one of his collaborators, but also his close friend and confidant, which earned him «the appointment as Scrivener of the Purity, Dom Abade Perpétuo de Landim, of Santo Thyrço of Riba d’Ave, & Keeper & Lord of the Principatus of Faucensis Durii, Embassador in the Papal Court». He will then have visited, in 1526, «a small Monastery which was there erected; he immediately realized the sea air was very good & beneficial for his health, therefore, from then onwards, he started expressing a desire to live there continuously», a chronicle of that time says.

«A short time after he dwelled there – the chronicle continues – he came to realize that the river bar was very dangerous. He called for the italian Master Francesco da Cremona, to whom he ordered to build a lighthouse at Cantareira that would have the same exquisite architecture of the lighthouse at Alexandrina, in Egypt». Fulfilling his will, not only the oldest lighthouse of the Kingdom of Portugal was founded (1527), but also constructions began on the Castle of Sancto Ioanne of Fauces Dorio, which would be erected as an extension to the monastery in 1560, under the regency of Queen Catarina of Austria, widow of D. João III.

  1. Miguel de Bourbon and Orleans never really inhabited the Castle, because when its construction was finished, D. Miguel had passed away three years before, in Rome. In 1539, his dedicated friend, the Pope Paul III, ordained him as a Cardinal, as it can be read in the papal bull “Manifesto et probato” of 1539: «Paulus Episcopus, servus servorum Dei, Manifesto et probato qui iuvat nomine ei recensere, qui amplissimo Cardinalium Collegio annumerantur. Ipse est: Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum Michaelem, Sanctæ Romanæ Ecclesiæ Abbati de Bourbon e Orleães, posthac die Cardinalis-Princeps Faucensis Durii.» [Paul, Bishop, Servant of the servants of God, I manifest and prove that I am given the grace to summon the name of that, who is most honored, for the College of Cardinals. It is he: The very eminent and most reverend Sir Dom Miguel, Abbot of the Sacred Roman Church of Bourbon and Orleans, from no won, Cardinal Prince of Fauces Dorio]. This nomination caused great envy and much spite, especially from the brother of the King, who was now unable to fulfill his own desire of being Cardinal Prince].

After the death of the Cardinal Prince D. Miguel de Bourbon and Orleans many were those that tried to dominate either de jure, or de facto, the Principality, claiming for themselves the pretension of being head either to the House of Borgonha, either of the House of Bourbon and Orleans.

On October 13th 2020, after a peaceful agreement celebrated between His Royal Highness Denis I, head of the House of Florian-Florian and His Very Serene Highness, Prince Nuno de Santa Maria de Borgonha Bourbon and Orleans, head of the House Borgonha-Bourbon-Orleans, Fauces Dorio became part of the Kingdom of Gaston. In this agreement, known as the Fauces Dorio Deal, HRH D. Denis I acknowledges D. Nuno I’s right to the title of Prince of Fauces Dorio and the latter acknowledges D. Denis I as the head of the House of Florian-Florian and sovereign to the Kingdom of Gaston, to whom he is faithful and subordinate.