García I (910-914)

Garcia I Reyes de León
Autor: Roca y Delgado, Mariano de la

In the year of 910, following the death of Alfonso III, the last king of Asturias, the kingdom was divided between his three sons. García, the youngest, was left in charge of León, encompassing the area from the Douro River (Río Duero) to the Cantabrian Range (Cordillera Cantábrica), which, in other words, included the current provinces of León, Palencia and Burgos, and a large portion of Zamora and Valladolid. García’s brother, Ordoño, received Galicia and the North of Portugal, and the third brother, Fruela, received the current Cantabria and Asturias. As it seems, Ordoño and Fruela owed obedience to García, who moved the capital from Oviedos to León. For this reason, historians use his reign to signal the end of the Kingdom of Asturias (that lasted from 722-910) and the beginning of the Kingdom of León (910-1230).

García’s reign was brief, only lasting four years. However, in this time he fought actively against the al-Ándalus muslims, and also held Aiolas, one of his main military leaders, as his prisoner.

García repopulated the area of Toro (in the Province of Zamora) and some districts within the Counties of Castille with Christians.

In the year of 913 this first King of León founded, together with his wife Muniadomna the monastery of San Miguel de Escalada (Gradefes, León), which was one of the Pre Romantic jewels of Leonese art. García I died in Zamora in 914, and since he didn’t have any sons, he was succeeded by his brother Ordoño.