Biography of Sancho III. King of Castilla (1133-1158)

King of Castile from the year 1157 to the 1158, nicknamed the Deseado. Born in the year 1133, and died in Toledo, 31 August of the year 1158. Eldest son of King Alfonso VII of Castile and León and Doña Berenguela, married, in the year 1151, the navarra Princess Doña Blanca, daughter of Navarrese King García V Ramírez, with whom he/she had the future Castilian King Alfonso VIII.

Alfonso VII decided to divide his Kingdom between his two sons, Sancho and Fernando, both Marines received, shortly before the death of his father, the Royal honors as heirs. Finally, after the death of Alfonso VII, fresneda, on 21 August of that same year, Sancho II inherited the Kingdom of Castile, by his first-born status, while Fernando II received inheritance in the Kingdom of Leon. The fact that the eldest son inherit the Castilian Crown and not the Leonese gives to understand the prevalence and increasing political weight acquired Castilla to the detriment of León.

In contrast to what happened a hundred years earlier, when Fernando I divided his Kingdom between his sons, provoking a civil war between Alfonso VI and Sancho II, the heirs of Alfonso VII did not try to never destroy, but on the contrary, since including nested the spirit of mutual cooperation and respect, thanks to the mediation of the sister of the dead King, Doña Sancha, which always worked hard to make his nephews not never come into direct confrontation, mutually respecting the territorial integrity of each Kingdom.

The first concern of Sancho III as King of Castile was to reorganize the enlarged border defenses in the South of his realm. The order of the Temple had received of Alfonso VII the plaza de Calatrava, something after its conquest, in the year 1147, but the cost of their maintenance and the constant danger that was that advanced and strategic point led them to return possession to Sancho III, in the year 1157, decision that contributed to the birth of the first order military entirely Hispanic, when, in January of the year 1158, Sancho III awarded tenure and señorio de plaza de Calatrava to Raymond, Abbot of the Cistercian Monastery of Fitero, and the monk Diego Velázquez, who garrisoned it and provided adequately for his defense.

In November of the year 1157, Sancho III received in Soria the homage of Sancho IV the wise of Navarre, on the same terms and conditions as the former Navarrese King, García V Ramírez, lent to his father, Alfonso VII of Castile and León. Soon after, Sancho III revalidated in Osma Alliance with the Aragonese Prince Ramón Berenguer IV, confirming this vassalage to the Castilian King. Despite the earlier agreement, Sancho III resumed hostilities against Sancho IV of Navarre, thus following the same political line that kept his father with respect to the Kingdom of Navarre, and passing by the cast of the Navarrese Kingdom, or, at least, for the reintegration into the power of the Castilian King of the lands that had belonged to their ancestors.

In the spring of the year 1158, Sancho III moved his court and army towards the Leonese border, following the line traced by the Camino de Santiago, in Leonese territory. Fernando II of León opted for negotiation rather than by the armed confrontation with his brother, so both monarchs signed the Treaty of Sahagún, on 23 May of the year 1158, which is laid the foundations of peace and future political coordination between the two kingdoms. Sancho III agreed to return to his brother the lands conquered at the border, but on the condition that his tenure was ended at the hands of the main procastellanos Leonese nobles (Ponce de Cabrera, Ponce of Minerva and Osorio Martínez). These powerful lineages Leon pledged to come to the relief and the Castilian King where Fernando II of León breach the Agreement agreed upon, or in their absence, to return the lands given to the Castilian Crown. In that Treaty also the succession issue of both Kingdoms set out, among other provisions,: If one of the brothers died without direct descendants (children or grandchildren), the other brother would inherit the Crown of the deceased automatically. The Treaty was coordinated political attitude of both United with respect to the other peninsular States. Fernando II and Sancho III pledged to assist one another, except in relation to his maternal uncle, the Prince of Aragon Ramón Berenguer IV, in whose friendship committed both brothers. Finally, were the territories and spheres of influence that, in future, be conquered to Islam, so Fernando II of Leon and his descendants would get the privileges and rights of conquests over Coria, Montánchez, Mérida, Badajoz, all the current Portugal, from Lisbon to the Algarve, and all the lower Andalusia, including the Valley of the Guadalquivir. The rest of the territory, to the East, was under Castilian field. Full compliance with the agreement would have meant reducing to nothing of the independence of the Kingdom of Portugal to strangle their natural territorial growth towards the South and encompassing it under the Castilian-Leonese field, from which came out.

The ambitious plan designed and planned by Sancho III of Castile and his brother Fernando II de Leon could not be conducted due to the sudden death of Sancho III of Castile, in the city of Toledo, on 31 August of the year 1158. Sancho III left as his heir his son Alfonso VIII, just two years old, opening so a period uncertain of Regency in the Crown of Castile in charge of Manrique de Lara, until the infant was fifteen years of age.

Related topics

Castile, Kingdom of.

Spain, history of (07): 1212-1470.


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