Alfonso VII King of Castile and Léon 1 2 3
- Born: 1 Mar 1105, Toledo, Castile, Spain
- Marriage (1): Berenguela of Barcelona in Nov 1128
- Died: 21 Aug 1157, La Fresneda, Teruel, Aragon, Spain at age 52
- Buried: Catedral De Toledo, Toledo, Castile
Other names for Alfonso were Alfonso Raimundez, Alfonso VII of Léon and Castile, Alfonso VII Emperor of Spain and Alfonso VII "Pierre-Raimund" King of Castile and Leon and Galicia.
Second husband of Berenguela of Barcelona.
From Wikipedia - Alfonso VII of León and Castile :
Alfonso VII (1 March 1105 - 21 August 1157 ), called the Emperor, became the King of Galicia in 1111 and King of León and Castile in 1126. He was crowned "Emperor of All the Spains " in 1135. He was the son of Urraca of León and Raymond of Burgundy , the first of the House of Burgundy to rule in Hispania .
Alfonso was a dignified and somewhat enigmatic figure. His rule was characterised by the renewed supremacy of the western kingdoms of Christian Hispania over the eastern (Navarre and Aragón ) after the reign of Alfonso the Battler . He also sought to make the imperial title meaningful in practice, though his attempts to rule over both Christian and Muslim populations was even less successful. His hegemonic intentions never saw fruition, however. During his tenure, Portugal became de facto independent, in 1128, and was recognized as de jure independent, in 1143. He was a patron of poets, including, probably, the troubadour Marcabru .
Succession to three kingdoms
In 1111, Diego Gelmírez , Bishop of Compostela , and the count of Traba crowned Alfonso King of Galicia in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela . He was but a child at the time, but his mother had already (1109) succeeded to the united throne of León-Castile-Galicia and desired to assure her son's prospects and groom him for his eventual succession. By 1125 he had inherited the formerly Muslim Kingdom of Toledo . On 10 March 1126 , after the death of his mother, he was crowned in León and immediately began the recovery of the Kingdom of Castile , which was then under the domination of Alfonso the Battler. By the Peace of Támara of 1127, the Battler recognised Alfonso VII of Castile. The territory in the far east of his dominion, however, had gained much independence during the rule of his mother and experienced many rebellions. After his recognition in Castile, Alfonso fought to curb the autonomy of the local barons.
When Alfonso the Battler, King of Navarre and Aragón , died without descendants in 1134, he willed his kingdom to the military orders . The aristocracy of both kingdoms did not accept this and García Ramírez , Count of Monzón was elected in Navarre while Alfonso pretended to the throne of Aragón. The nobles chose another candidate in the dead king's brother, Ramiro II . Alfonso responded by occupying La Rioja , conquering Zaragoza , and governing both realms in unison. From this point, the arms of Zaragoza began to appear in those of León.
In several skirmishes, he defeated the joint Navarro-Aragonese army and put the kingdoms to vassalage. He had the strong support of the lords north of the Pyrenees , who held lands as far as the River Rhône . In the end, however, the combined forces of the Navarre and Aragón were too much for his control. At this time, he helped Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona , in his wars with the other Catalan counties to unite the old Marca Hispanica .
A vague tradition had always assigned the title of emperor to the sovereign who held León. Sancho the Great considered the city the imperiale culmen and minted coins with the inscription Imperator totius Hispaniae after being crowned in it. Such a sovereign was considered the most direct representative of the Visigothic kings, who had been themselves the representatives of the Roman Empire . But though appearing in charters, and claimed by Alfonso VI of León and Alfonso the Battler , the title had been little more than a flourish of rhetoric.
In 1135, Alfonso was crowned "Emperor of All the Spains" in the Cathedral of León . By this, he probably wished to assert his authority over the entire peninsula and his absolute leadership of the Reconquista . He appears to have striven for the formation of a national unity which Hispania had never possessed since the fall of the Visigothic kingdom. The elements he had to deal with could not be welded together. The weakness of Aragon enabled him to make his superiority effective, although Afonso I of Portugal never recognised him as liege , thereby affirming Portugal's independence. In 1143, he himself recognised this status quo and consented to the marriage of Petronila of Aragon with Ramon Berenguer IV , a union which combined Aragon and Catalonia into the Crown of Aragon .
In November 1128, he married Berenguela , daughter of Ramon Berenguer III. She died in 1149. Their children were:
Sancho III of Castile (1134-1158)
Ramon, living 1136, died in infancy
Ferdinand II of León (1137-1188)
Constance (c.1138-1160), married Louis VII of France
Sancha (c.1139-1179), married Sancho VI of Navarre
Alfonso (c.1144-by 1149)
In 1152, Alfonso married Richeza of Poland , the daughter of Ladislaus II the Exile . They had:
Sancha (1155-1208), the wife of Alfonso II of Aragón .
Alfonso also had two mistresses, having children by both. By an Asturian noblewoman named Guntroda Pérez , he had an illegitimate daughter, Urraca (1132-1164), who married García Ramírez of Navarre , the mother retiring to a convent in 1133. Later in his reign, he formed a liaison with Urraca Fernández, widow of count Rodrigo Martínez and daughter of Fernando García of Hita, an apparent grandson of García Sánchez III of Navarre , having a daughter Stephanie 'the Unfortunate' (1148-1180), who was killed by her jealous husband, Fernan Ruiz de Castro.
FamilySearch has d. in La Fresneda, Teruel, Aragon. Wikipedia (?) has Sierra Morena.
Noted events in his life were:
• King of Galicia, 1111-1157, Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
• King of León and Castile, 10 Mar 1126-21 Aug 1157.
• Emperor of All the Spains, 1135-1157, Cathedral of Léon.
Alfonso married Berenguela of Barcelona, daughter of Raymond III Berenger Count of Barcelona and Dulce Aldonza Milhaud, in Nov 1128. (Berenguela of Barcelona was born about 1116 in <Barcelona, Aragon>, Spain and died on 3 Feb 1149 in Palencia, Léon, Spain.)