Biography of King of Aragón y Navarra Alfonso I (1073 -1134)

Alfonso I the Battler, King of Aragon.

King of Aragon and Navarre, born in 1073 and died in the village of Poleñino, the 8 of September 1134, known by the nickname of el Batallador. His reign was the aggrandizement of the Kingdom of Aragon, which modified the role of the various Christian kingdoms in the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula. Being a small Principality Pyrenees, Aragon, thanks to the conquering work of Alfonso I, happened to be in the middle of the 12th century an essential piece of the alliances in the process of reconquest. He/She was the creator of the first military orders of the Peninsula.

Childhood and youth

Son of Sancho Ramírez I of Aragon and Navarre, and Doña Felicia de Roucy, Alfonso was a brother of Pedro I, whose mother was the first wife of Sancho Ramírez, Doña Isabel de Urgel. They were also brothers of Alfonso don Fernando, died before 1094, and Ramiro, who took the ecclesiastical path. He/She was raised in the monastery of San Pedro de Siresa, and received grammar studies in the monastery of San Salvador de Pueyo, as a disciple of don Galindo de Arbós; It was also his master Esteban, Canon of Jaca that would reach the MITRE of Huesca; He/She received military education of his guardian, don Lope Garcez.

He soon began to participate in public life and to the death of his brother Fernando assumed the Government of the lands that had been given in dowry to his mother in Ribagorza. Prince Alfonso ruled the squares of Ardennes, Buil, Luna and dance at this time.

In 1094 Sancho Ramírez I died and was succeeded by his eldest son, who reigned as Pedro I. Prince Alfonso was in charge of the military mission of some importance during both reigns, as the siege of Huesca at the time of his father, where he/she commanded the vanguard of the Aragonese troops at the battle of Alcoraz (1096); He/She also participated in the battle of Bairén, along with the Cid and his brother Pedro. But in 1104 died Pedro I childless, what brought to Alfonso, as eldest son of the second marriage of Sancho I Ramírez, the legacy of the kingdoms of Aragón and Navarra.

Ascent to the throne and wars against the Muslims

Alfonso I inherited his brother's a Kingdom of Aragon in 1076 had joined the lands of Navarre, and had then moved from a defensive attitude to the development of a policy of conquest and widening of the Kingdom. He/She also inherited a constant war with the Moorish Kingdom of Zaragoza and a policy to conquer Lleida and in the long run, Valencia. Although after the conquest of Barbastro (1100) there had been no major battles between the two kingdoms, the skirmishes in the border areas were continued by both sides. In 1101, Pope Pascal II had preached a crusade against Zaragoza, which was led by Pedro I. Alfonso I continued with the inherited policy and continued to harass the Kingdom hudi. In 1105 he/she signed agreements with Pedro Ansúrez, Regent of Armengol VI of Urgell, to undertake the taking of Balaguer; He/She also signed the count of Barcelona, although it has not been news that neither Alfonso nor Ramón Berenguer III of Barcelona to participate in the conquest of the city, accomplished in 1105. Ejea de los Caballeros fell that year, in a campaign in which the King personally led the troops and was about to lose their lives. He/She was rescued in battle by a foreign gentleman, Cic of Flanders. Tamarite, and San Esteban de Litera capitulated in 1107. However the main ambitions of the Aragonese monarch heading to Zaragoza and Tudela, around which was to build a series of squares to keep a continuous harassment: Zaragoza, el Castellar and Juslibol; Tudela, Arguedas, miracle and the Pueyo de Sancho.

The Aragonese King received 1108 the domain of cities in the South of France. BERTRAN of Toulouse gave Alfonso I the cities of Narbonne, Béziers, Agde and Rodez and Toulouse along with your County, if you recover it. BERTRAN sought with this Act a powerful ally that would protect their States as he/she marched to the Holy Land; on his return he/she would recover such land as fief and would render homage by them to the King of Aragon. Nevertheless, Alfonso I did never to exercise any effective control over these territories, which remained under the rule of Alfonso Jordán, brother of Bertran.

The Kingdom of Aragon also lost seats against Zaragoza: Zaidín, Ontiñena and Sariñena (1110); that same year, Ahmed al-Mustasin of Zaragoza launched a campaign against the town of Olite (Navarra), which ended with the delivery of hostages and money by Christians. But during their retreat, the Muslim army was pursued and achieved in Valtierra, where the Aragonese army presented battle and won, killing their King. Alfonso was at war against the count of Traba in Galicia when these events. When he/she learned of the death of al - Mustasin returned to Aragon and agreed with his successor, Abd al - Malik Imad al - Dawla, which gave him the strength of Tudela in return that the fighter attack Zaragoza, delivered by its inhabitants the Almoravid Emir of Valencia, Ibn Hajj. At the beginning of July Alfonso I, attacked on two fronts the army of Ibn Hajj, whose son was killed in the battle. In August, Alfonso received the help of his wife, who sent an army to reinforce the Aragonese troops. The square was not taken at the moment, because in October the Kings had leave to resolve issues of Castile.

Marriage of Alfonso I and with Urraca of Castile

Died in 1109 Alfonso VI of Castile and the heiress, his daughter Doña Urraca, widow of count Ramon of Burgundy, had not given samples have endowments of Government, so it quickly sought him a rey-marido so you govern the Kingdom. A Castilian faction, backed by the clergy in charge of Bernard, Archbishop of Toledo, proposed as a candidate to Alfonso of Aragon and was triumphant opinion, front of the nobility, which proposed as candidate to count don Gómez González. The betrothal took place in autumn of 1109, at the castle of Muñó, near Burgos. The marriage contract provided that Doña Urraca would receive the vassalage of the Aragonese and don Alfonso would receive in compensation the kingdoms of Castilla y León, Alfonso VI inherited; When the Aragonese King died, his Kingdom would pass to Doña Urraca; otherwise would be don Alfonso that reign in Castile, but it would be succeeded by Alfonso Raimúndez, son of the first marriage of Doña Urraca.

In Galicia, Alfonso Raimúndez rights were defended by don Pedro Froilaz, count of Traba, guardian, who found the collaboration of Diego Gelmírez, Bishop of Compostela and a skilled politician. They appealed to the last decision of Alfonso VI to leave the Kingdom to his grandson where her daughter stayed in second marriage (and the own Alfonso VI, at the end of his life, was one of the main sponsors of his daughter's wedding with Alfonso the Battler). Also the wedding had left unhappy counts of Portugal, dona Teresa and don Henry of Burgundy, who had intended to get to participate one day Alfonso VI heritage during the life of Ramón of Burgundy.

The marriage of the Kings was an absolute failure from the outset and soon let themselves feel the first marital disagreements, starting a list of ruptures and reconciliations, which alternated between times of Alliance of husbands and fights among them. In 1109 Alfonso went with his wife to Galicia to quell a revolt initiated by the count of Traba, who sought the pledge of allegiance to Alfonso Raimúndez by the nobility. The fighter, with the support of the city of Lugo and the Lord of Deza, Pedro Arias, invaded Galicia, destroyed the castle of Monterroso and occupied the lands of the count of Traba, who had to flee with the infant. The Aragon campaign was extremely violent and Doña Urraca, Queen of Galicia, broke with her husband. Alfonso continued with the pacification of Galicia, while Doña Urraca returned to León. When in 1110 Alfonso allied himself with the taifa King of Zaragoza to fight against the Almoravids, Doña Urraca, advised by count Pedro Ansúrez, sent an army to aid her husband, restoring the marital peace and giving rise to the end of the first separation of the spouses.

After reconciliation was to implement the clause of the marriage contract allowing each of the spouses to reign in the realm of the other. Don Alfonso received tribute from the Lords of Castilla y León, while Doña Urraca traveled to Aragon to receive it of the Aragonese Lords. The Aragonese monarch also got the adhesion of the bourgeois of the Kingdom, that joining in a revolt of the bourgeoisie of Sahagún against the nobility who were forced to pay taxes, went to the party of the Warrior. But the King should go to Aragon, where his wife had committed certain arbitrariness and had thwarted the policy alfonsina's intervention in the Affairs of Muslims as a prelude to the conquest of Zaragoza. After a large dispute, Doña Urraca was imprisoned in the fortress of El Castellar. Of course, this event involved a new rupture between husband and wife. Doña Urraca little remained in prison; with the help of your favorite managed to escape from the fortress and returned to Castile, while the King fell ill in the castle of the miracle.

Supporting Alfonso by the nobility and the bourgeoisie of Castilla and León, favorable to the validity of the marriage of the Kings, left politically isolated Doña Urraca and resorted to invoke the rights of Alfonso Raimúndez to oppose her husband and asked for help to the count of Traba. But as it traveled towards lion to make Crown his pupil he/she received news of a new reconciliation of the Kings. Indeed, Alfonso traveled to Toledo in April 1111, and ordered the exile of Archbishop Bernard, leading advocate of the nullity of the marriage. With this don Alfonso wanted to curb the ambitions of Enrique of Portugal, who aspired to the Division of the inheritance of Alfonso VI. Mid year the King conquered Palencia and Sahagún, which caused the reaction of the counts of Portugal, Castile attacked and came to encircle the Kings in Carrion, although the site of the plaza was brief and soon don Enrique returned to Portugal.

Alfonso was unaware of the fact that Doña Urraca, seeking the support of the Bishop of Compostela, Diego Gelmírez, was offered the throne of Galicia Alfonso Raimúndez. This hastened the coronation of Prince (September 17, 1111). When the procession traveled to Leon to put the crowned child in the hands of his mother, Alfonso I intercepted them at Viandangos at the end of the year and defeated them, although Gelmírez managed to escape and give the child to her mother, who took refuge in monsoon. The Aragonese King also attacked the square.

The coronation of Alfonso Raimúndez as King of Galicia opened an unbridgeable gap between the marriage. Alfonso was preparing for war, while the Queen got the Bishop of Compostela money to prepare their armies. Alfonso developed an aggressive policy against the high clergy and at the end of 1111 apprehended to the Bishops of Palencia, Orense and Osma and replaced the Abbot of Sahagún with his brother Ramiro. The main core of the King's army was composed of Nájera, Zamora, León Sahagún bourgeois militias and other cities. With these troops he/she besieged the city of Astorga, but the defeat of the cavalry reinforcements sent from Aragón made it impossible to conquer the city. The King was forced to take refuge in Carrión and was there besieged by the Queen for some time.

This state of affairs caused anarchy in Castile, and in 1111 and 1112 uncontrolled bands were devoted to obliterate the fields. Trying to establish a legitimate authority that is respected, the bourgeoisie and the nobility managed the reconciliation of marriage, but established a contract very vague conditions which allowed the burghers and nobles take part for one or the other spouse if they disputed. The fact is that clashes between loyalists to the fighter and loyal to the Queen reappeared in 1113. Doña Urraca had lost all its supports and, again, asked for help to the Bishop Gelmírez to expel the Aragonese and enforce the rights of Alfonso Raimúndez. The King then proposed a new reconciliation with his wife, which had a great success between the bourgeoisie and the nobility, who saw Alfonso insurance stability, against the weakness of the Queen. But there were also factions unhappy with the union: the Bishop Gelmírez and dona Teresa of Portugal, who aspired to independence in their States. This led to don Alfonso believe his wife, whose love with don Pedro de Lara were no secret, thought to poison you with herbs. The rumor came to have enough consistency, because the King repudiated his wife, also pressed by the bishops. October 18, 1114 marriage was declared null by inbreeding in an episcopal Synod in León and threatened the Kings with excommunication if they returned to join. Jay went to Soria, and once in Castile, received the castles that had many vassals by Alfonso I, whereas its natural Lady. Then was the episode in which Pedro Ansúrez went to see el Batallador, offering his life for having delivered to Doña Urraca lands that had lent allegiance to Alfonso; the King, whose first reaction was to punish to the felon, forgave to count don Pedro by his loyalty to the Queen and to the one who had done homage. In any case, most of Castile was under the influence of the Warrior, which followed a long graduated King of Castile and Doña Urraca, who remained without sufficient support, was forced to fight against Gelmírez or his own son to preserve their rights over León and Galicia.

Although forward don Alfonso was more devoted to the Aragonese Affairs, it did not neglected his business in Castile. In 1119, he/she participated in the ecclesiastical restoration of Segovia Pedraza, whose first bishop, Pedro, was ordained a year later. 1120 data a peace signed by spouses, which implies that there were previous clashes, although it is unknown where or why. In addition the Aragonese King continued ahead of the Spanish border with the conquest of populations as Tardajos (Burgos) and rooms or the Tera River, a tributary of the Duero basin. He/She gave charters to Soria and other reconquered cities and created the bishopric of Sigüenza. To develop his ecclesiastical policy at the border, Alfonso approached Bernard, Archbishop of Toledo, distancing the Compostela Gelmirez policy.

The conquest of Zaragoza

While Alfonso I had occupied trying to dominate Castilla left quite forgotten Aragonese Affairs, although he/she continued to be interested in the conquest of Zaragoza. The city had been occupied in 1110 by the Almoravids and the Aragonese monarch continued to maintain relations with Imad al - Dawla, encouraging the confrontation between African Muslims and the Muslims of al - Andalus. Even came to the aid of the descendant of al - Mustasin when the Almoravids tried to take Calatayud. Alfonso sent an army that was able to break the siege of the city.

From July of 1117 King became the media gathering to consummate the conquest. He/She sought foreign help and found her at a Council held in Toulouse in 1118, where the expedition against Zaragoza reached the honours of the crusade. Developed a propaganda policy that had great importance Stephen, Bishop of Huesca. A large French contingent crossed the Pyrenees and took the road to Zaragoza, conquering the cities of Sariñena, Salcey, Robres, and Zuera on its way. In the French army were the Viscount Gastón of Béarn, Bigorre Centule, Pedro of Gabarret and Bishop of Lescar, Guy of Lions. In addition the main nobles of Aragón, Navarra, Catalonia and VIzcaya took part in the conquest. The Crusaders began the site of Zaragoza the 22 may 1118, with a comprehensive device of siege engines. Alfonso I, who was in Castile, he/she joined the siege of the city in early June, raging Christian attacks. The plan was to pay square for hunger and avoid Zaragoza is aprovisionaran. Help came to the Muslim part of Abd Allah ibn Mazdali, Governor of Granada, which attained a fulminant victory in Tarazona on a Christian detachment sent to arrest him. Mazdali Ibn became strong in Tudela and from there arrived in Zaragoza in early September. During the summer the famine had caused a large number of desertions in the Christian army. Bishop Esteban de Huesca put at the disposal of the Crusaders the assets of his Church to avoid the mass desertion, which later was rewarded by the King with delivery to Esteban of the churches of the Holy masses, San Gil de Zaragoza and several parishes. The death of Ibn Mazdali towards November made Alfonso to intensify the siege on a Zaragoza who was left leaderless to defend it and that widespread hunger. The besieged asked the fighter that it granted a truce to find reinforcements and to be able to continue to defend the city (was a custom at the time deliver well fortified towns when you have exhausted all possibilities of Defense, thus saving the honor of those who lost it). It is unknown how long gave Alfonso I Zaragoza to deliver the square, but the 18 December 1118, when the Warrior had defeated an Almoravid army, Zaragoza capitulated, probably until expire the delivery time for the city. The 19th took possession of the Government of Zaragoza. The King appointed Governor of the city to Gastón de Béarn, who had developed a very active role during the siege.

Alfonso I Zaragoza offered benevolent conditions of surrender, following a policy initiated by the Cid in the taking of Valencia: allowed the Muslims to stay if wished, under the same taxes that were already subject and with the guarantee that could keep their property; they could retain their authorities and laws and would have the opportunity to go to land of Moors if they wished; It was also regulated for causes involving Christians and Muslims.

New Aragonese conquests

After the Zaragoza Alfonso undertook the methodical conquest of the rest of the almoravides squares scattered in the Valley of the Ebro. Tudela capitulated the 25 February 1119 and over it applied the same conditions of surrender than about Zaragoza; In addition to the Jews granted the same privileges that Najera back to inhabit it. The city government left Aznar Aznárez, Lord of Funes, and Fortún Garcés Cajal, Lord of Nájera. Tarazona surrendered the same year and the following Calatayud. Alfonso the Battler defeated during the Calatayud an Almoravid army recruited in the previous years by the Almoravid Emperor, Ali, involving troops of all the Governors of the regions of al - Andalus. The Aragonese King was assisted by a contingent of French Crusaders under the command of the Duke of Guillermo IX of Aquitaine and Imad al - Dawla. After the conquest of Calatayud fell Daroca. With the domain of Monreal del Campo and Singra opened the road to Valencia. Borja was not delivered until 1124. The conquest of Lleida could not be conducted because its Governor placed itself under the protection of the count of Barcelona, but in 1123 Alfonso made an attempt to conquer the city. A year later the Almoravids reinforced their front for that sector and won Corbins Ramón Berenguer III of Barcelona

But Alfonso I wanted these conquests will become permanent and were not recovered in a new Almoravid attack. So he/she made a reinforcement of borders and established a small brotherhood organized by the way of the military orders in Beltiche (1122). Historian José María Lacarra for an end last was the same as the of the military orders of the Holy Land (the Temple had been founded only four years before): open the path of Zaragoza to the sea to get to Jerusalem. The King granted extraordinary statutes, which enabled who are after deviate from the service of the King against the Christians, in addition to preserving all that loot or land conquered from the Moors. The members enjoyed a special legal regime and could only be tried by the tribunal of the own brotherhood. In the ecclesiastical order were divided into perpetual and temporary, those who were granted various indulgences according to the time of service. Also settled indulgences to those who work payment with the brotherhood and for those who do the brotherhood propaganda or collect alms for her.

Alfonso fight in Levante, Murcia and Andalusia

One of the most important tasks that Alfonso the Battler took place during his reign was the repopulate the lands newly conquered. For this purpose it served both castellanos and Gascon and in the cities favoured the settlement of the Franks, with the granting of special privileges. This policy was due to the reason that Alfonso needed to settle Christian populations in the reconquered cities, especially in Zaragoza and Tudela, whose Moslem inhabitants were confined in the suburbs. But also, these come from France, spontaneously or invited by the King, Lords had hosts who put at the service of the Aragonese King, and this used to be against Islam.

At the end of 1124 Alfonso I ordered an expedition against Peña Cadiella, with a castle defending the natural step between the orchard of Valencia and Alicante. The objective was to control this important route to ensure the subsequent raids in Valencia and Murcia. A large number of Frankish and Norman Knights, together participated in the expedition to the Aragonese. After reinforcing the defences of the fortress it was the brotherhood of Beltiche care. Around that year, Alfonso was another similar to the Beltiche brotherhood in Monreal. It was constituted with Gastón de Béarn Council and both its goal and its statutes were the same as those of its predecessor. The King joined the militia of Monreal as one gentleman more.

Alfonso, who had been in correspondence with the Mozarabs of Granada where they offered the city, prepared the conquest of Granada, where wanted to establish a Christian State supported by the Mozarabs in 1125. It recruited 5,000 of his best Knights and 15,000 Marines and departed from Aragon in late September, arriving at Valencia on 20 October. They were with Gastón de Béarn and the Bishops of Roda, Zaragoza and Huesca. The road to Granada new Christian troops were joining them and kept some skirmishes against contingent Almoravids. Between October and end of the year the army was moving, attacking in your itinerary Denia and Baza, Guadix and reaching Granada 7 January 1126. This army, according to some Chronicles, exceeded 40,000 warriors. Then the news of his arrival was already known in the country and the Governor of Granada, Abu-l-Tahir, was quick to ask for reinforcements from Africa. Alfonso set up their camp in the village of Nivar, but the conquest of the city was impossible, while the Mozarabs, about 10,000, had gone to join the ranks of his army. The fighter then swept the lands of Granada and Cordoba, but was intercepted on March 10 by the Almoravid army come from Seville, under the command of Abú Bakr, in Arnisol (current Arzul). Surprise gave advantage to the Muslims, until Alfonso reordered their hosts in four Army Corps, which destroyed the scattered Muslim troops. After the victory, Alfonso returned to the taking of Granada and placed his headquarters in the village of Alhedín. It was at this moment when arrived in Granada African troops from Fez and Meknes, which atosigaron the invading army until at the end of June, they did return to his Kingdom.

In return Alfonso had brought a large number of Mozarabs who allowed to settle in his Kingdom with a very special jurisdiction that freeing them of servitude and of certain taxes, and give them the possibility of appeal to the Royal Court in its causes.

Alfonso VII, King of Castile

The death of Doña Urraca in 1126 March, Alfonso Raimúndez was proclaimed King of Castile and began to receive membership of the nobility and the clergy. Alfonso I was engaged in the campaign against Granada and in addition there were Affairs in Aragon which required his attention more urgently than the change of monarch in Castile. However the strengths of Aragon retained in Spanish territory threatened to move on to the side of Alfonso VII and in April the castle of Burgos was conquered by Spanish troops. The fighter agreed to negotiate with the new King of Castile. The encounter between both monarchs occurred in the Valley of Tamara and Alfonso I agreed to deliver to Alfonso VII many fortresses were taken on their behalf in the territory of Castilla y León. To change the Aragonese managed to recover the lands conquered by Castile in the border Navarre during the 11th century, restoring the Kingdom of Navarre to the limits of the reign of Sancho III the largest. In the return of the territories raised problems with the repopulation of the same; for example, the headquarters of Sigüenza had been gifted by Alfonso I with land belonging to Aragon and now remained under Spanish sovereignty.

After the commitments of Tamara, Alfonso continued preparing the route to Valencia and reinforced the border with Castile, but had friction with Alfonso VII in trying to repopulate Almazan. After conquering Molina in December 1118 it was repopulated with Valencia border cities and endowed them with border jurisdictions. In spring of the following year, he/she began the expedition, prepared in advance. The emir of Valencia, Alí ibn Yusuf, met the Aragonese plans and reinforced his army endowments. In June, Alfonso took the strategic castles of Liria and Villamarchante; in July he/she defeated a Muslim army in Cullera and though news it just transcends in the chronic Christian, Muslim texts speak of a great disaster which killed more than 12,000 soldiers. Valencia, however, was not conquered, and Alfonso returned to Navarre before September 1129. He/She traveled to the Aran Valley, territory which in fact reigned from 1108. During their stay in the Valley received news of the death of Stephen, Bishop of Huesca, and Gastón de Béarn, Lord of Zaragoza. In 1130 Alfonso I undertook the making of Bayonne, which occupied him for a year. The strange thing is that they know many of the nobles who took part in the company, but has not reached satisfactory solutions that clarify who was the enemy. It is likely that the efforts of the warrior to conquer the city, involving vassals of one and another side of the Pyrenees, respond to the politics of the count of Tolosa, Alfonso Jordán, of the approach to Alfonso VII of Castile; the Aragonese King would have occupied Bayonne to hinder communication between the two.

Alfonso interior policyEl Batallador

The Aragonese Court was structured as a military Council and was formed by a group of barons, some of them half monks, and even by some bishops, who took part in combat operations of the Warrior. The services of these gentlemen were rewarded by the King with lots of land, many of them border and therefore more dangerous, whose interior was entrusted to his most trusted Knights. The problems with these tycoons came when they tried that the King allowed them to link those Manors to their families, point to which the monarch not agreed.

In the flat ecclesiastical Alfonso I stood up side of the Bishop Esteban de Huesca, which joined a great friendship, and confronted the bishops Ramón de Roda and Pedro de Pamplona, representatives of a French Cluniac trend and that ended up leaving the Kingdom. Pedro did to 1115 and was succeeded by Guillermo, who, until 1122, maintained an intense collaboration with the Aragonese monarch, putting their troops at your service in the conquest of Zaragoza. In Castile, Alfonso I confronted the Archbishop Bernardo de Toledo, mostly by relation to his marriage with Doña Urraca. In Galicia Diego Gelmírez was a staunch enemy of the fighter and took party by Alfonso Raimúndez. Outside the Peninsula, Alfonso met opposition from Guido de Borboña, Archbishop of Vienne. While the King was fond of the traditional designation of the bishops, i.e., at an Assembly of the clergy and the people in which the weight of the real candidate had great importance, Alfonso I quickly organized ecclesiastical restoration of territories recovered to Islam, following the instructions of the Pontifical legacy appointed for each case. This allowed him to maintain cordial relations with the Roman Curia during the pontificate of Callixtus II. Three French, don Miguel, Bernardo and Pedro, were appointed to deal with the mitres of Tarazona (1119), Sigüenza (1122) and Segovia (1120), respectively. This proliferation of French in charge of the diocese gave a huge boost to the Roman Rite to the South of the Pyrenees. The King was also concerned by conveniently providing these new venues, which delivered the conquered mosques, with their properties and corresponding rights, which transformed into churches. They received the right to receive the tithe on Christians and Muslims and had a great importance in the Christian repopulation of the newly conquered lands.

And was one of the biggest challenges faced by Alfonso I the repopulate the conquered lands. Between 1117 and 1122 the Aragonese monarch doubled the extension of his Kingdom. The first fact that draws attention is that the Warrior, a time conquered cities, allowed Muslims inhabiting them to remain in them, with very favorable conditions, as it has been. It has also been don Alfonso fostered the installation in those cities to Franks and Mozarabs, in addition to men of all the Christian kingdoms. This mixture of population brought with it the problems of coexistence between certain nationalities such as Franks and Navarre in Pamplona. The King tried to solve this problem through the granting of charters that equated to everyone from the legal point of view, regardless of their creed or nationality. Alfonso I used these measures for the immediate repopulation of the conquered cities, but when this town was settled, the King sought that those cities have Christian majority and granted privileges, such as the de Calatayud (1131), intended to attract Christians through advantageous conditions, which are not neglected, however, good relations with Jews and Muslims.

Years of reign: the disaster of Fraga

Tortosa was a square desired from antique by Alfonso, because its possession would facilitate the exit to the sea and would disrupt the communications of Lleida, and Fraga advanced Almoravids in Christian territory, with al - Andalus, facilitating their further conquest. But it was also a city coveted by the count of Barcelona, which got its Emir, ibn Yusuf Alí, payment of pariahs. Since November of 1132 Alfonso I made preparations for the taking of Tortosa, as a response to the banks of the Ebro had been threatened in the past and some Aragonese squares had been reconquered by the Moors in Lleida. Included in the preparations the construction of boats for the river supply troops and improving communications. In 1133 Alfonso conquered Mequinenza and established his headquarters on the square. After you fortify the right bank of the Ebro, it advanced on the left until Fraga, whose site was the King from the month of August. The peculiarities of the square make it easily defensible, so the King addressed objectives hinder their supply from Lleida through the Ebro and from Valencia and Murcia. In contrast el Batallador used all means military which could set and summoned the main warlords and ecclesiastical realm, which Franks went along with foreign troops, mainly. The siege of the square, which was won by hunger, was long and tedious and many of the knights who took part in it were Testament, aware of the hardness of the company. But the 17 July 1134 a surprise of the besieged and reinforcements cordoban attack managed to disrupt the Christian army, causing a huge massacre that managed to escape the King thanks to the loyalty of an escort of fifty men, of which the majority were killed.

The following news about the King after the defeat is that on August 11 he/she was in Melbourne, close to Zaragoza, making donations and the same month he/she was besieging Lizana farm. Alfonso distributed goods and mercedes among the relatives of the victims of the battle of Fraga. In September he/she became ill and died, almost with certainty, Poleñino, Sariñena and Grañén village. He/She was buried in the monastery of Montearagón near Huesca.

Testament and succession

Alfonso I of Aragon made Testament while it was on the site of site of Bayonne, in October of 1031. His testament, a genuine moral portrait, was in keeping with the spirit of crusade that showed during his reign: ceded his Kingdom to the three military orders of Orient: the Temple, the Hospital and the Holy Sepulchre. His will was released that same year and all military chiefs swore the testament of the King.

However, after the death of Alfonso the nobility of the country proclaimed himself King immediately his brother Ramiro II. It was not any problem the fact that Ramiro was Bishop of Roda, and even held the title of "King of the Aragonese and Bishop of Roda and Barbastro" for a time.


LACARRA, J.M. portrait of Alfonso the Battler. Zaragoza, 1949.

MENÉNDEZ PIDAL, R. The Hispanic Empire and the five kingdoms. Madrid, 1950.

PÉREZ DE URBEL, j. "The beginning of the reconquest", in history of Spain Menéndez Pidal, vol. VI. Madrid, Espasa Calpe. 1994.

RAMOS LOSCERTALES, J.M. "The succession of Alfonso VI", in Yearbook of history the right Spanish, XIII (1936-1941). New York, 1941.