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Muniadona of Castile

Muniadona of Castile

Queen of Navarre
The basics
Gender female
Death July 13, 1066
Father: Sancho García of Castile
Spouse: Sancho III of Navarre
Children: Ferdinand I of León and CastileGarcía Sánchez III of NavarreGonzalo of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza
The details

Muniadona of Castile (c. 995 – 1066), also called Mayor or Munia, was Queen consort of Pamplona (1011 – 1035) by her marriage with King Sancho Garcés III, who later added to his domains the Counties of Ribagorza (1017) and Castile (1028) using her dynastic rights to these territories.


Dynastic rights

Eldest child and daughter of the Sancho García, Count of Castile and his wife Urraca Gómez, probably a member of the Banu Gómez family, she married King Sancho Garcés III of Pamplona before 27 June 1011 when both appear confirming certain privileges of the Monastery of San Millán.

In 1017, William Isarn, Count of Ribagorza was assassinated during an expedition to the Val d'Aran. Because he died without issue, the succession of the County was claimed by Mayor García —daughter of García Fernández, Count of Castile and Ava de Ribagorza (William's aunt) and wife of Count Raymond III of Pallars Jussà— and King Sancho Garcés III —who claimed the dynastic rights of his wife Muniadona, eldest granddaughter of Ava de Ribagorza and great-granddaughter of Count Raymond II of Ribagorza—. In 1017 the troops of Sancho III invaded Ribagorza and he took control over half of the county, while the rest remained in the hands of Mayor García until 1025, when was repudiated by her husband, and Sancho III was able to secure the remaining part of the County while Raymond III only kept the Noguera Ribagorçana basin.

Again, in 1028, Muniadona's dynastic rights were invoked. Following the assassination of Count García Sánchez of Castile by the Vela family in León, Sancho III took control of the county since his wife was the eldest sister of the late count. Their son Ferdinand Sánchez took the comital title in 1029.

Widowhood and testament

Monastery of San Martín de Tours de Frómista, Muniadona's burial place.

Muniadona outlived her husband and most of her children, except perhaps Jimena who was still alive in December 1063. After the death of her husband in 1035, Muniadona founded the monastery of San Martín de Tours de Frómista, and in her testament dated 13 June 1066, she requested to be buried there. She probably died shortly after executing her last will.

Her last will also "determined the definitive transfer of the horses that she had lent to those who enjoyed them until then. She also freed the Saracens who had converted to Christianity that were under her dependence. In addition, she declared the monastery of San Martín de Tours de Frómista owner of the estates that it had been exploiting and gave it other properties in Bobadilla and Agero, the decimal thirds of Frómista and Población de Campos, as well as a half meadow and a serna in Villota. She also divided her sheeps, cows and horses in Frómista among the ecclesiastical centers of Santa María, San Juan Bautista and San Martín, and the cows she had in Asturias among the place of her burial, the monastery of San Martín de Tours de Frómista and the three monks who were in charge of praying for her soul".


From her marriage to King Sancho Garcés were born:

  • García Sánchez III, nicknamed "the one from Nájera", King of Pamplona from 1035 until his death in 1054 and married to Stephanie of Foix.
  • Fernando Sánchez, King of León married to Sancha of León.
  • Gonzalo Sánchez, petty King of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza.
  • Jimena Sánchez, queen consort of León by her marriage to Bermudo III.
  • Bernardo Sánchez, mentioned in a charter dated 17 December 1024 from the Monastery of San Martín de Albelda;
  • Ramiro Sánchez, mentioned in a charter from San Millán de la Cogolla in 1020.

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