1884, Portugal, Louis I. Beautiful Bronze 20 Reis Coin
Mint Year: 1884
Denomination: 20 Reis (XX REIS)
Obverse: Head of Luís I of Portugal left.
Legend: D . LUZZ . I . REI . DE . PORTUGAL
Reverse: Value (XX) above denomination (REIS) and date (1884). All within wreath.
Luís I ( English: Louis), whose full name was Luís Filipe Maria Fernando Pedro de Alcântara António Miguel Rafael Gabriel Gonzaga Xavier Francisco de Assis João Augusto Júlio Valfando de Saxe-Coburgo-Gotha e Bragança), the Popular (Port. o Popular) (Lisbon, October 31, 1838 – October 19, 1889 in Cascais) was the 32nd (or 33rd according to some historians) King of Portugal and the Algarves between 1861 and 1889. He was the second son of Maria II and Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and was created Duke of Porto and Viseu.
Luís was a cultured man who wrote vernacular poetry, but otherwise had no distinguishing gifts in the political field into which he was thrust by the deaths of his brothers Pedro V and Fernando in 1861. Luís' domestic reign was a tedious and ineffective series of transitional governments called Rotativism formed at various times by the Progressistas (Liberals) and the Regeneradores (Conservatives – the party generally favoured by King Luís, who secured their long term in office after 1881). Despite a flirtation with the Spanish succession prior to the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, Luís’s reign was otherwise one of domestic stagnation as Portugal fell ever further behind the nations of western Europe in terms of public education, political stability, technological progress and economic prosperity. In colonial affairs, Delagoa Bay was confirmed as a Portuguese possession in 1875, whilst Belgian activities in the Congo (1880s) and a British ultimatum denied Portugal a land link between Angola and Mozambique at the peak of the Scramble for Africa.
Luís was mostly a man of the sciences, with a passion for oceanography. He invested great amounts of his fortune in funding research boats to collect specimens in the oceans of the world. He was responsible for the establishment of one of the World’s first Aquariums, Aquário Vasco da Gama in Lisbon, which is still open to the public with its vast collection of maritime life forms, including a 10 meter long squid. His love for sciences and things new was passed to his two sons.