Lost Kingdoms – Kingdom of León‎

By Heralder - CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Kingdom of León‎ was created as a separate Kingdom when the Asturian King Alfonso the Great divided his realm among his three sons. The first King of León‎ was his second son, King García I.

García was married to a woman named Muniadona, but her origins are unknown. They had no children together, and when he died in 914, the Kingdom passed to his younger brother Ordoño II, who was already King of Galicia. He was married three times, first to Elvira Menéndez, who was thus the first Queen of León‎ of whom we have more than just a first name. She was the daughter of a Galician noble and died around 921, leaving behind five children. Ordoño then married Aragonta González, but she was quickly set aside to make way for Sancha Sánchez of Pamplona, who survived him. Upon his death in 924, his children were still young, and he was succeeded by his brother, now King Fruela II, who was already King of Asturias. The three Kingdoms were thus united again.

Urraca Fernández (public domain)

Fruela’s first wife was a woman of unknown origin. In 917, he married Urraca bint Abd Allah, and they probably had three children. He died in 925, and the Kingdom of León was inherited by the son of Ordoño II, now King Alfonso IV of León. He was married to Oneca Sánchez of Pamplona, and they probably had two sons together. In 931, he resigned to Kingdom in favour of his brother, now King Ramiro II of León. Ramiro’s first wife was Adosinda Gutiérrez with whom he probably had three children. By his second wife, Urraca Sánchez of Pamplona, he had a further two children. Upon his death in 951, he was succeeded by his eldest son, now King Ordoño III. That same year, he married Urraca Fernández, with whom he had at least two children. She may have been the mother of Bermudo II of León, but he may have been the son of a mistress. Urraca was repudiated in 956. Upon Ordoño III’s death in 956, he was succeeded by his half-brother, now King Sancho I.

Sancho was deposed just two years later by Ordoño IV of León, the son of Alfonso IV of León, who also happened to be married to Urraca Fernández. They probably had two children together. Sancho returned to rule 960. He had married Teresa Ansúrez, and they had two children together. Upon Sancho’s death in 966, he was succeeded by his son, now King Ramiro III. Teresa was placed in a convent. Young Ramiro’s regency was in the hands of his aunt Elvira and later also in the hands of his mother. Sometime after 983, he married Sancha Gómez with whom he had at least one son. Upon his death in 985, he was succeeded by Bermudo II of León, the son of King Ordoño III, who had already been proclaimed King of Galicia in 982. He had one daughter by his first wife, Velasquita Ramírez. He had three children by his second wife, Elvira García. He also had several illegitimate children. Upon his death in 999, he was succeeded by his son, now King Alfonso V. The young King was under the regency of his mother. In 1013, he married Elvira Menéndez with whom he had a daughter and a son. After her death in 1022, he married Urraca Garcés with whom he had one daughter. Upon his death in 1028, he was succeeded by his son, now King Bermudo III of León. He was married to Jimena Sánchez with whom he had a short-lived son. He had no direct heir, and upon his death in 1037, the King was inherited by his brother-in-law, Ferdinand, Count of Castile, later King Ferdinand I of Castile and León and his sister Sancha. They had five children together. Upon Ferdinand’s death in 1065, the Kingdom was again divided amongst his sons. The Kingdom of León was inherited by his son, now King Alfonso VI. Galicia and Castile were inherited by his two other sons.

King Alfonso VI subsequently became King of Galicia in 1071, upon invading it, and then King of the reunited Castile and León in 1072 upon the death of one of his brothers. Alfonso had several wives and concubines. His first wife was Agnes of Aquitaine, who died childless in 1078. He then married a cousin of hers, Constance of Burgundy. During this time he had an affair with Jimena Muñoz, with whom he had two daughters. With Constance, he had six children, though only a daughter named Urraca survived to adulthood. There were at least four more concubines. Upon his death in 1109, he was succeeded by his old legitimate child Urraca. She had married Raymond of Burgundy as a child and had two surviving children by him. Raymond died in 1107 and Urraca married Alfonso I of Aragon under protest. They were soon estranged, and Urraca had two children by a lover named Pedro González de Lara. She died in 1126 and was succeeded by her son, now King Alfonso VII of León and Castile. He married Berenguela of Barcelona in 1128, and they had seven children before her death in 1149. He remarried to Richeza of Poland with whom he had one surviving daughter. He also had children by at least two mistresses. Upon his death in 1157, he divided the Kingdom. His eldest son succeeded as Sancho III in Castile, while his second son succeeded as Ferdinand II in León and Galicia.

Urraca of Portugal (public domain)

King Ferdinand II was married three times. In 1165, he married Urraca of Portugal with whom he had one son. He repudiated her, and the marriage was annulled after which she became a nun. He married Teresa Fernández de Traba, with whom he already a child in 1179 but she died in childbirth a year later. In 1187, he married Urraca López de Haro, with whom he already had three children. Upon his death in 1188, he was succeeded by his eldest son, now King Alfonso IX of León. In 1191, he married Theresa of Portugal with whom he had three children, including Sancha & Dulce of León. Their marriage was annulled in 1195. On 17 November 1197, he married Berengaria of Castile, and they had four surviving children. Berengaria was the heiress of Castile, and the Kingdoms were thus set to unite again. Alfonso did not want this and bequeathed León to the daughters from his first marriage. Berengaria convinced the women to renounce their claim to the throne of León and the coronation of Ferdinand III of Castile as King of León united the Kingdoms once and for all.

About Moniek Bloks 2734 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

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