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Sancha of León

Sancha of León

Queen consort of Castile and León
The basics
Quick Facts
Occupations Queen consort
Countries Spain
Gender female
Death November 27, 1067 (León)
Family
Mother: Elvira Mendes
Father: Alfonso V of León
Spouse: Ferdinand I of León and Castile
Children: Urraca of ZamoraSancho II of León and CastileElvira of ToroAlfonso VI of León and CastileGarcía II of Galicia
Sancha of León
The details
Biography

Sancha of León (? – 27 November 1067) was a Queen of León.

Family

Sancha was a daughter of Alfonso V of León by his first wife, Elvira Menéndez. She became a secular abbess of the Monastery of San Pelayo.

In 1029, a political marriage was arranged between her and count García Sánchez of Castile. However, having traveled to León for the marriage, García was assassinated by a group of disgruntled vassals. In 1032, Sancha was married to García’s nephew and successor, Ferdinand I of León and Castile.

At the Battle of Tamarón in 1037 Ferdinand killed Sancha’s brother Bermudo III of León, making Sancha the heir and allowing Ferdinand to have himself crowned King of León, Sancha thereby became Queen. Following Ferdinand’s 1065 death and the division of her husband’s kingdom, she is said to have played the futile role of peacemaker among her sons.

She was a devout Catholic, who, with her husband, commissioned the crucifix that bears their name as a gift for the Basilica of San Isidoro.

Children

Sancha had five children:

  • Urraca of Zamora
  • Sancho II of León and Castile
  • Elvira of Toro
  • Alfonso VI of León and Castile
  • García II of Galicia

Death and burial

The Royal Pantheon

She died in the city of León on 27 November 1067. She was interred in the Royal Pantheon of the Basilica of San Isidoro, along with her parents, brother, husband, and her children Elvira, Urraca and García.

The following Latin inscription was carved in the tomb in which were deposited the remains of Queen Sancha:

"H. R. SANCIA REGINA TOTIUS HISPANIAE, MAGNI REGIS FERDINANDI UXOR. FILIA REGIS ADEFONSI, QUI POPULAVIT LEGIONEM POS DESTRUCTIONEM ALMANZOR. OBIIT ERA MCVIII. III N. M."

Which translates to:

"Here lies Sancha, Queen of All Spain, wife of the great king Ferdinand and daughter of king Alfonso, who populated León after the destruction of Almanzor. Died 3 November 1108."

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