Ellie Wood Keith Genealogy

King Alfonso VI 'The Brave', King of Castile and León

King Alfonso VI 'The Brave', King of Castile and León

Male Bef 1040 - 1109  (~ 69 years)

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  • Name Alfonso VI 'The Brave'  
    Title King 
    Suffix King of Castile and León 
    Born Bef Jun, 1040  Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    History Alfonso was born in 1039, the son of Fernando I \'the Great\', king of Castile, and Sancha of León. When his father died in 1065, the lands were divided between Alfonso and his brothers and sisters. Sancho received Castile, Alfonso received León and the Asturias, Garcia received Galicia and Portugal as far as the Douro, Urraca received Zamora, and Elvira received Toro. Within three years war broke out between the siblings, and the legendary exploits of Spain\'s national hero _El Cid_ (Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar) belong to this period. Eventually a traitor in Sancho\'s own camp murdered him while he was besieging his sister Urraca in her fortress of Zamora, and Alfonso became king of Castile as Alfonso VI.

    Alfonso\'s valiant exploits against the Moors were to make him a national hero, but he was completely overshadowed by the personality of _El Cid_, with whom his relationship was often strained.

    When Alfonso arrived at Burgos, the capital of Castile, to assume the crown, he found that the Castilians suspected him (probably correctly) of having planned the murder of their king Sancho. Rodrigo Diaz acted as their representative and, in a famous scene, demanded that Alfonso stand on the steps of the church of Santa Gadea and, in front of the nobles of Castile, swear three times on the Bible that he was innocent of having conspired in the death of King Sancho. Alfonso swore, but was angry with Rodrigo for having demanded this of him and waited for an opportunity to take revenge on him.

    It was some years before he felt that he could afford to dispense with the services of his most able warrior and the man most respected by the Castilian nobles. In 1080 he sent Rodrigo to collect the tribute owed by the Muslim city-state of Seville. When he arrived, he found that Count Garcia Ordoñez of Najera, one of Alfonso\'s favourites, had been sent on a similar mission to the city of Granada and was preparing to attack Seville with a large army. Rodrigo had only a few men, but attacked Count Garcia and won a spectacular victory. According to legend, Rodrigo went up to Garcia during the battle, grabbed his beard and twisted his nose. These were absolutely deadly insults at the time, and Garcia never forgave him. When Rodrigo returned to Burgos, he found that Garcia Ordoñez was already there and had told Alfonso that Rodrigo had stayed down at Seville for longer than was necessary so that he could attack the Granadans and take booty from them. Alfonso had not waited to have a trial. As punishment for his \'crimes\', Alfonso declared that Rodrigo must leave the realm within three days, taking nothing with him and receiving aid or assistance from no one.

    The great event of Alfonso\'s reign was the recovery of Toledo from the Moors in 1085. Alfonso continued the use of Arabic there as an official language and had coins modelled on those of Andalus. Although his second wife, Constance of Burgundy, had patronised the Cluniacs, Alfonso VI showed his true temper in not only calling himself Emperor of the Two Religions (by which he meant Christianity and Islam) but, in his last years, in cohabiting with a Muslim princess.

    Alfonso is also noted for his complicated matrimonial entanglements. The number of his wives, five or six, their names, order and provenance are still the subject of controversy. Alfonso pursued a careful policy in marrying off his daughters, legitimate and illegitimate. His eldest daughter and destined heiress, Urraca, was married to Raymond of Burgundy; Sancha to the count of Lara; Elvira to King Roger II of Sicily; another (illegitimate) Elvira to Raymond IV, count of Toulouse; and the illegitimate Teresa was married to Henry of Burgundy, count of Portugal.

    Alfonso VI died 30 June 1109 in Toledo.  [1
    Died 1 Jul, 1109  Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Benedictine Monastery, Sahagun, Leon, Spain Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I236  Ellie Wood Keith
    Last Modified 16 Feb 2018 

    Father Fernando I \'The Great\', King of Castile and León,   b. Abt 1016/1018,   d. 27 Dec, 1065, Leon Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 47 years) 
    Mother Sancha, Infanta of Leon,   b. 1013,   d. 7 Nov, 1067  (Age 54 years) 
    Married 1032 
    Family ID F962  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Constance De Bourgogne,   b. 8 May, 1046, Bourgogne, France Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1092, Spain at age 46 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years) 
    +1. Queen Urraca I De Castille,   b. 1081,   d. 8 Mar, 1126, Spain, age 45 Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 45 years)
    Last Modified 14 May 2017 
    Family ID F112  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Alfonso VI \'The Brave\', King of Castile and León
    Alfonso VI \'The Brave\', King of Castile and León

  • Sources 
    1. [S64] Genealogics, Leo Van de Pas, http://www.genealogics.org/getperson.php?personID=I00020895&tree=LEO.