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03. - Fernando VI (1713-1759)

Fernando VIFernando VI, son of Felipe V and his first wife, Maria Luisa de Saboya, was the brother of Luis I, who died seven months after becoming king. After Luis I died, Felipe V had reigned again until his death. Fernando VI was over thirty years old when he became king.

Fernando VI was married to Barbara de Braganza. As they had no children, his heir was his stepbrother, Carlos.

During Fernando V´s reign Spain enjoyed a time of peace. After his father´s turbulent times - wars because of his alliance with France and his wife´s plots to find kingdoms for her children- his time was described as ´peace for everybody, war for nobody´.

He surrounded himself with a wide group of competent people, not only nobBarbara de Braganzalemen. Thanks to him the first Royal Botanic Garden was built near River Manzanares.

Barbara de Braganza was a Portuguese princess. It seems that she was quite ugly and many ironic songs were composed making fun of her. But as time went by people realized that she was intelligent, charming and really in love with her husband.
During the reign of Felipe V the couple had lived almost isolated, due to problems with Isabel de Farnesio (the second wife of Felipe V).
Barbara de Braganza spoke more than five languages and she enjoyed playing music. In fact, during her husband´s reign she also played an important role in the court, especially promoting arts. She was Farinelli´s patron.
She also promoted the building of the Convento de las Salesas Reales. After its inauguration she retired to Aranjuez, where she died in 1758. Her husband, Fernando VI, was so sad after her death that he lost his wits and died one year later.

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