|King of Castile and Toledo|
|Reign||31 August 1217 –30 May 1252|
|King of León and Galicia|
|Reign||24 September 1230 (de facto) or 11 December 1230 (de jure) –30 May 1252|
|Predecessor||Sancha and Dulce|
Monastery of Valparaíso, Peleas de Arriba, Kingdom of León
|Died||30 May 1252 (aged 50–53)|
Seville, Crown of Castile
Seville Cathedral, Seville, Spain
|House||Castilian House of Ivrea|
|Father||Alfonso IX of León|
|Mother||Berengaria of Castile|
Ferdinand III (Spanish: Fernando; 1199/1201 –30 May 1252), called the Saint (el Santo), was King of Castile from 1217 and King of León from 1230 as well as King of Galicia from 1231. He was the son of Alfonso IX of León and Berenguela of Castile. Through his second marriage he was also Count of Aumale. Ferdinand III was one of the most successful kings of Castile, securing not only the permanent union of the crowns of Castile and León, but also masterminding the most expansive southward territorial expansion campaign yet in the Guadalquivir Valley, in which Islamic rule was in disarray in the wake of the decline of the Almohad presence in the Iberian Peninsula.
By military and diplomatic efforts, Ferdinand greatly expanded the dominions of Castile by annexing the Guadalquivir river valley in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, establishing the boundaries of the Castilian state for the next two centuries. New territories included important cities such as Baeza, Úbeda, Jaén, Córdoba or Seville, that were subject of Repartimiento, given a new general charter and repopulated in the following years.
Ferdinand was canonized in 1671 by Pope Clement X. Places such as the cities of San Fernando, Pampanga and San Fernando, La Union; the Diocese of Ilagan and the San Fernando de Dilao Church in Paco, Manila in the Philippines; and in the United States, in California the City of San Fernando, the San Fernando Valley, and in Texas the Cathedral of San Fernando in San Antonio were all named after him.
The exact date of Ferdinand's birth is unclear. It has been proposed to have been as early as 1199 or even 1198, although more recent researchers commonly date Ferdinand's birth in the summer of 1201.Ferdinand was born at the Monastery of Valparaíso (Peleas de Arriba, in what is now the Province of Zamora).
As the son of Alfonso IX of León and his second wife Berengaria of Castile, Ferdinand descended from Alfonso VII of León and Castile on both sides; his paternal grandfather Ferdinand II of León and maternal great grandfather Sancho III of Castile were the sons of Alfonso VII between whom his kingdom was divided. Ferdinand had other royal ancestors from his paternal grandmother Urraca of Portugal and his maternal grandmother Eleanor of England a daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine.
The marriage of Ferdinand's parents was annulled by order of Pope Innocent III in 1204, due to consanguinity, but the legitimacy of the children was recognized.Berengaria then took their children, including Ferdinand, to the court of her father, King Alfonso VIII of Castile. In 1217, her younger brother, Henry I, died and she succeeded him on the Castilian throne with Ferdinand as her heir, but she quickly surrendered it to her son.
Alfonso of León considered himself tricked, and the young king had to begin his reign by a war against his father and a faction of the Castilian nobles. His and his mother's abilities proved too much for the king of Leon and his Castilian allies. Berengaria continued to be a key influence on Ferdinand, following her advice in prosecuting wars and even in the choice of a wife, Elisabeth of Swabia.
When Ferdinand's father died in 1230, his will delivered the kingdom to his older daughters Sancha and Dulce, from his first marriage to Teresa of Portugal. But Ferdinand contested the will, and claimed the inheritance for himself. At length, an agreement was reached, negotiated primarily between their mothers, Berengaria and Teresa. The resulting treaty of Benavente was signed on 11 December 1230, by which Ferdinand received the Kingdom of León, in return for a substantial compensation in cash and lands for his half-sisters, Sancha and Dulce. Ferdinand thus became the first sovereign of both kingdoms since the death of Alfonso VII in 1157.
Early in his reign, Ferdinand had to deal with a rebellion of the House of Lara.
Since the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 halted the advance of the Almohads in Spain, a series of truces had kept Castile and the Almohad dominions of al-Andalus more-or-less at peace. However, a crisis of succession in the Almohad Caliphate after the death of Yusuf II in 1224 opened to Ferdinand III an opportunity for intervention. The Andalusian-based claimant, Abdallah al-Adil, began to ship the bulk of Almohad arms and men across the straits to Morocco to contest the succession with his rival there, leaving al-Andalus relatively undefended. Al-Adil's rebellious cousin, Abdallah al-Bayyasi (the Baezan), appealed to Ferdinand III for military assistance against the usurper. In 1225, a Castilian army accompanied al-Bayyasi in a campaign, ravaging the regions of Jaén, vega de Granada and, before the end of the year, had successfully installed al-Bayyasi in Córdoba. In payment, al-Bayyasi gave Ferdinand the strategic frontier strongholds of Baños de la Encina, Salvatierra (the old Order of Calatrava fortress near Ciudad Real) and Capilla (the last of which had to be taken by siege). When al-Bayyasi was rejected and killed by a popular uprising in Córdoba shortly after, the Castilians remained in occupation of al-Bayyasi's holdings in Andújar, Baeza and Martos.
The crisis in the Almohad Caliphate, however, remained unresolved. In 1228, a new Almohad pretender, Idris al-Ma'mun, decided to abandon Spain, and left with the last remnant of the Almohad forces for Morocco. Al-Andalus was left fragmented in the hands of local strongmen, only loosely led by Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Hud al-Judhami. Seeing the opportunity, the Christian kings of the north – Ferdinand III of Castile, Alfonso IX of León, James I of Aragon and Sancho II of Portugal – immediately launched a series of raids on al-Andalus, renewed almost every year. There were no great battle encounters – Ibn Hud's makeshift Andalusian army was destroyed early on, while attempting to stop the Leonese at Alange in 1230. The Christian armies romped through the south virtually unopposed in the field. Individual Andalusian cities were left to resist or negotiate their capitulation by themselves, with little or no prospect of rescue from Morocco or anywhere else.
The twenty years from 1228 to 1248 saw the most massive advance in the reconquista yet. In this great sweep, most of the great old citadels of al-Andalus fell one by one. Ferdinand III took the lion's share of the spoils – Badajoz and Mérida (which had fallen to the Leonese), were promptly inherited by Ferdinand in 1230; then by his own effort, Cazorla in 1231, Úbeda in 1233, the old Umayyad capital of Córdoba in 1236, Niebla and Huelva in 1238, Écija and Lucena in 1240, Orihuela and Murcia in 1243 (by the famous 'pact of Alcaraz'), Arjona, Mula and Lorca in 1244, Cartagena in 1245, Jaén in 1246, Alicante in 1248 and finally, on 22 December 1248, Ferdinand III entered as a conqueror in Seville, the greatest of Andalusian cities. At the end of this twenty-year onslaught, only a rump Andalusian state, the Emirate of Granada, remained unconquered (and even so, Ferdinand III managed to extract a tributary arrangement from Granada in 1238).
Ferdinand annexed some of his conquests directly into the Crown of Castile, and others were initially received and organized as vassal states under Muslim governors (e.g. Alicante, Niebla, Murcia), although they too were eventually permanently occupied and absorbed into Castile before the end of the century (Niebla in 1262, Murcia in 1264, Alicante in 1266). Outside of these vassal states, Christian rule could be heavy-handed on the new Muslim subjects. The range of Castilian conquests also sometimes transgressed into the spheres of interest of other conquerors. Thus, along the way, Ferdinand III took care to carefully negotiate with the other Christian kings to avoid conflict, e.g. the treaty of Almizra (26 March 1244) which delineated the Murcian boundary with James I of Aragon.
Ferdinand divided the conquered territories between the Knights, the Church, and the nobility, whom he endowed with great latifundia. When he took Córdoba, he ordered the Liber Iudiciorum to be adopted and observed by its citizens, and caused it to be rendered, albeit inaccurately, into Castilian.
The capture of Córdoba was the result of a well-planned and executed process whereby parts of the city (the Ajarquía) first fell to the independent almogavars of the Sierra Morena to the north, which Ferdinand had not at the time subjugated.Only in 1236 did Ferdinand arrive with a royal army to take the Medina, the religious and administrative centre of the city. Ferdinand set up a council of partidores to divide the conquests and between 1237 and 1244 a great deal of land was parcelled out to private individuals and members of the royal family as well as to the Church. On 10 March 1241, Ferdinand established seven outposts to define the boundary of the province of Córdoba.
On the domestic front, Ferdinand strengthened the University of Salamanca and erected the current Cathedral of Burgos. He was a patron of the newest movement in the Church, that of the mendicant Orders. Whereas the Benedictine monks, and then the Cistercians and Cluniacs, had taken a major part in the Reconquista up until then, Ferdinand founded houses for friars of the Dominican, Franciscan, Trinitarian, and Mercedarian Orders throughout Andalusia, thus determining the future religious character of that region. Ferdinand has also been credited with sustaining the convivencia in Andalusia.He himself joined the Third Order of St. Francis, and is honored in that Order.
He took care not to overburden his subjects with taxation, fearing, as he said, the curse of one poor woman more than a whole army of Saracens.
Ferdinand III had started out as a contested king of Castile. By the time of his death he had delivered to his son and heir, Alfonso X, a massively expanded kingdom. The boundaries of the new Castilian state established by Ferdinand III remained nearly unchanged until the late 15th century. His biographer, Sister María del Carmen Fernández de Castro Cabeza, A.C.J., asserts that, on his deathbed, Ferdinand said to his son "you will be rich in land and in many good vassals, more than any other king in Christendom."
Ferdinand's death was attributed to a dropsy he contracted in the winter of 1251. His death took place on 30 May 1252, and he was buried in the Cathedral of Seville by his son, Alfonso X. The funeral took place on 1 June 1252 and was officiated by Remondo, Bishop of Segovia, in the cathedral. In the city there were royal vassals, bishops, abbots and wealthy men of the kingdom, who had come to show their lament. His tomb was inscribed in four languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and an early version of Castilian.
He was canonized as Saint Ferdinand by Pope Clement X in 1671.Today, the incorrupt body of Saint Ferdinand can still be seen in the Cathedral of Seville, for he rests enclosed in a gold and crystal casket worthy of the king. His golden crown still encircles his head as he reclines beneath the statue of the Virgin of the Kings. Several places named San Fernando were founded across the Spanish Empire in his honor.
The symbol of his power as a king was his sword Lobera.
Saint Ferdinand is the patron saint of Seville, Aranjuez, San Fernando de Henares, Maspalomas, Pivijay, and of several other localities. He is also the patron of the Spanish Army's Corps of Engineers,and engineers generally.
Since the establishment in 1819 of the Diocese of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, also called "Diocese of Tenerife" (Canary Islands), Saint Ferdinand is the co-patron of the diocese and of its Cathedral pursuant to the papal bull issued by Pope Pius VII.This is because La Laguna is a suffragan diocese of the Archdiocese of Seville whose capital city has Saint Ferdinand as one of its co-patrons, together with the Virgen de los Reyes. Saint Ferdinand is also the patron of the University of La Laguna, since this institution was founded under the name of Universidad Literaria de San Fernando (Literary University of Saint Ferdinand).
In 1219, Ferdinand married Elisabeth of Swabia (1203–1235).She was the fourth daughter of Philip, Duke of Swabia, and Irene Angelina. Their children were:
After he was widowed, he married Joan, Countess of Ponthieu, before August 1237.They had four sons and one daughter:
Ferdinand II, was a member of the Castilian cadet branch of the House of Ivrea and King of León and Galicia from 1157 until his death.
Alfonso VII, called the Emperor, became the King of Galicia in 1111 and King of León and Castile in 1126. Alfonso, born Alfonso Raimúndez, first used the title Emperor of All Spain, alongside his mother Urraca, once she vested him with the direct rule of Toledo in 1116. Alfonso later held another investiture in 1135 in a grand ceremony reasserting his claims to the imperial title. He was the son of Urraca of León and Raymond of Burgundy, the first of the House of Ivrea to rule in the Iberian peninsula.
Alfonso IX was King of León and Galicia from the death of his father Ferdinand II in 1188 until his own death.
Alfonso VIII, called the Noble or the one of Las Navas, was King of Castile from 1158 to his death and King of Toledo. After having suffered a great defeat with his own army at Alarcos against the Almohads in 1195, he led the coalition of Christian princes and foreign crusaders who broke the power of the Almohads in the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212, an event which marked the arrival of a tide of Christian supremacy on the Iberian peninsula.
Berengaria was reigning Queen of Castile for a brief time in 1217, and Queen of León from 1197 to 1204 as the second wife of King Alfonso IX. As the eldest child and heir presumptive of Alfonso VIII of Castile, she was a sought after bride, and was engaged to Conrad, the son of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa. After his death, she married her cousin, Alfonso IX of León, to secure the peace between him and her father. She had five children with him before their marriage was voided by Pope Innocent III.
The Kingdom of León was an independent kingdom situated in the northwest region of the Iberian Peninsula. It was founded in 910 when the Christian princes of Asturias along the northern coast of the peninsula shifted their capital from Oviedo to the city of León. The kings of León fought civil wars, wars against neighbouring kingdoms, and campaigns to repel invasions by both the Moors and the Vikings, all in order to protect their kingdom's changing fortunes.
The Kingdom of Castile was a large and powerful state on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages. Its name comes from the host of castles constructed in the region. It began in the 9th century as the County of Castile, an eastern frontier lordship of the Kingdom of León. During the 10th century, its counts increased their autonomy, but it was not until 1065 that it was separated from León and became a kingdom in its own right. Between 1072 and 1157, it was again united with León, and after 1230, this union became permanent. Throughout this period, the Castilian kings made extensive conquests in southern Iberia at the expense of the Islamic principalities. The Kingdoms of Castile and of León, with their southern acquisitions, came to be known collectively as the Crown of Castile, a term that also came to encompass overseas expansion.
Sancho III, called the Desired, was King of Castile and Toledo for one year, from 1157 to 1158. He was the son of Alfonso VII of León and Castile and his wife Berengaria of Barcelona, and was succeeded by his son Alfonso VIII. His nickname was due to his position as the first child of his parents, born after eight years of childless marriage.
This is a timeline of notable events during the period of Muslim presence in Iberia, starting with the Umayyad conquest in the 8th century.
Alfonso of León, Lord of Molina was an infante (prince) of León and Castile, the son of King Alfonso IX of León and his second wife Queen Berengaria of Castile. He was the brother of King Ferdinand III of Castile and León, and father of Queen Maria of Molina, wife of King Sancho IV. He became Lord of Molina and Mesa after his first marriage to Mafalda González de Lara, the heiress of those lands.
Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yusuf ibn Nasr, also known as Ibn al-Aḥmar and by his honorific al-Ghalib billah, was the first ruler of the Emirate of Granada, the last independent Muslim state on the Iberian Peninsula, and the founder of its ruling Nasrid dynasty. He lived during a time when Iberia's Christian kingdoms—especially Portugal, Castile and Aragon—were expanding at the expense of the Islamic territory in Iberia, called Al-Andalus. Muhammad ibn Yusuf took power in his native Arjona in 1232 when he rebelled against the de facto leader of Al-Andalus, Ibn Hud. During this rebellion, he was able to take control of Córdoba and Seville briefly, before he lost both cities to Ibn Hud. Forced to acknowledge Ibn Hud's suzerainty, Muhammad was able to retain Arjona and Jaén. In 1236, he betrayed Ibn Hud by helping Ferdinand III of Castile take Córdoba. In the years that followed, Muhammad was able to gain control over southern cities, including Granada (1237), Almería (1238), and Málaga (1239). In 1244, he lost Arjona to Castile. Two years later, in 1246, he agreed to surrender Jaén and accept Ferdinand's overlordship in exchange for a 20-year truce.
Cabra is a rural town in Córdoba province, Andalusia, Spain and the site of former bishopric Egabro. It lies along the route between Córdoba and Málaga in the south of Spain. It is an entrance point to the Parque Natural de las Sierras Subbéticas.
Berengaria of León was the third wife but only empress consort of John of Brienne, Latin Emperor of Constantinople.
Pedro Fernández de Castro "the Castilian" was a Castilian nobleman, son of Fernando Rodríguez de Castro and Estefanía Alfonso la Desdichada. He inherited the Infantazgo of León from his parents and was mayordomo mayor of Fernando II and his son Alfonso IX of León.
Lope Díaz II de Haro "Cabeza Brava" was a Spanish noble of the House of Haro, the sixth Lord of Biscay, and founder of the municipality of Plentzia. He was the eldest son of Diego López II de Haro and his wife, María Manrique. Lope was also a member of the Order of Santiago.
Berengaria of Castile, Infanta of Castile and Lady of Guadalajara in her own right. She was the eldest child of King Alfonso X of Castile and Violante of Aragon. She was probably named after her paternal great-grandmother, Queen Berengaria of Castile.
Álvaro Núñez de Lara was a Castilian nobleman who played a key role, along with other members of the House of Lara, in the political and military affairs of the Kingdoms of León and Castile around the turn of the 13th century. He was made a count in 1214, served as alférez to King Alfonso VIII of Castile, was the regent during the minority of King Henry I of Castile, and was mayordomo (steward) to King Alfonso IX of León. He opposed Queen Berengaria of Castile and her son King Ferdinand III and supported the King of León during the war between the two countries of 1217–1218. At the end of his life he was a knight of the Order of Santiago, in whose Monastery of Uclés he was buried.
The siege of Jaén was one of many sieges on the city during the long Spanish Reconquista. The siege, which was carried out by the combined allied forces of the Kingdom of Castile and the Taifa of Baeza, commanded by Ferdinand III of Castile and Abd Allah Ibn Muhammad Al-Bayyasi of Baeza against the defending Taifa of Jayyān (جيان) whose forces were commanded by the notable Christian knight, Álvaro Pérez de Castro. The battle resulted in a Jayyānese victory as the Castilian forces did not capture the city. Areas around the city were totally devastated as a result of the siege. The siege occurred as a part of Ferdinand III's first campaign which occurred roughly from 1224 to 1230 and was undertaken before the siege of Andújar that same year.
The siege of Jaén was one of many sieges on that city during the Spanish Reconquista. The siege was carried out from 24 June through September, 1230 by forces of the Kingdom of Castile commanded by Ferdinand III of Castile against the defending Taifa of Jayyān (جيان). The battle resulted in a Jayyānese victory after the Castilian withdrawal and abandonment of the siege immediately following the death of King Alfonso IX of León.
The Treaty of Benavente, signed on 30 December 1230, was the agreement by which Sancha and Dulce, the heiresses of the Kingdom of León, renounced their throne to their brother, King Ferdinand III of Castile, thus uniting the kingdoms of León and Castile.