Biography of Berenguela Berenguer. Queen of Castilla (1108-1149)

Queen of Castile born in Barcelona in 1108 and died in Palencia in early February 1149.

Daughter of the count of Barcelona Ramón Berenguer III and Mrs. sweet, Countess of Provence, Doña Berenguela was sister of Ramón Berenguer IV. He/She married Saldaña 1128 earlier the King of Castile Alfonso VII, link hiding an alliance between Ramón Berenguer III and which was already entitled Imperator Hispaniae, against Alfonso the Battler. According to the Chronicle of Father Miguel Carbonell, the young Queen married a great friendship Doña Sancha, a sister of the King, becoming both the main councilors of the emperor. It participated actively in politics and was the main culprit off the rebellion of the Earl of Asturias Gonzalo Peláez. Doña Berenguela accompanied her husband to war many times, thus participating in their victories.

Account the tradition that, in 1139, the Queen was responsible for a heroic resistance in Toledo. Having split the emperor to the site of the castle of Aurelia, the defense of the city instructed his wife. But the campaign is too stretched and Toledo was besieged by the Emperor of Morocco, who had come with an army of 30,000 men. The Queen gathered a small army, but, aware of their inferiority, decided to try a diplomatic move to try to avoid the fight. Sent a Messenger to the field, enemy, carrying a letter, which, according to the Chronicle of Alfonso VII, read as follows: "you don't know that it is diminishing of Knights and brave captains undertake a defenceless woman when you expected so close to the Emperor? "If you want to fight id to Aurelia and there can prove that you are a brave, as here leave showed that ye are men of honor if you retiráis". The Muslims were impressed by the nobility of the Queen and immediately raised the siege, marching against Alfonso. When the warden of Toledo, Nuno Alfonso, came victorious in the city carrying heads of the Emirs of Seville and Cordoba, he/she commanded them to hang from the towers of the fortress, but Queen pity, ordering that they embalsamaran them and sending them to their widows in chests of gold.

Doña Berenguela as a prudent Queen who sacrificed her feelings, conscious of their grave responsibilities as sovereign is remembered. When the infidelities of her husband with the Asturian noble Gontrada Díaz was born a daughter, Doña Urraca, Queen forgave her husband and wanted to earn it through affection for not compromising high interest rates. Further, when Urraca married the King of Navarre the Restorer García, Doña Berenguela was commissioned to prepare the wedding with great pomp and attended, giving great enhancement to the ceremony.

His death was very regretted, so that, according to historians of the time, the year 1139 was used in documents as a starting point for dating events, under the formula "year that died the Empress Lady". Doña Berenguela had two daughters: Constance and Sancha. Mother was also Infante Sancho Deseado, who died during childhood. The body of the Queen rests in the chapel of the relics of the Cathedral of Santiago.


Latin Chronicle of the Kings of Castile. Edition of Luis Charlo Brea. (Madrid, Akal: 1999).

PÉREZ GONZÁLEZ, M. Chronica Adefonsi Imperatoris. (Leon, University: 1997).

RECUERO and ASTRAY, M.J. Alfonso VII, Emperor. The Hispanic Empire in the 12th century. (Center for studies and research, San Isidoro: 1979).

REILLY, B.F. The Kingdom of León-Castilla under King Alfonso VII. 1126-1157 (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press: 1998).