Ordoño II (914-924)

Ordoño II
Autor: Rodríguez de Losada, José María

Ordoño was the second son of Alfonso III de Asturias, and governed Galicia and the North of Portugal.

After the passing of his older brother, García I, Ordoño was crowned the new king in the city of León. Ordoño relentlessly attacked al-Ándalus, taking cities and fortresses in the south of current Portugal, and in the Merida region. His armies were so grand a muslim historian recounts how the army took an entire day and an entire night to cross the famous Roman Alcántara Bridge (Cáceres).

This Leonese King resisted many of the Andalusian raids in the Counties of Castille. After that, he allied himself with the King of Pamplona to join forces against the muslims, but they were both heavily defeated in Valdejunquera. Ordoño II blamed this loss on three Castilian counts, because they hadn’t helped in the battle with their armies. He got his revenge by imprisoning the counts, and sweeping the interior of the zone of al-Ándalus, like the Guadalajara area and Córdoba.

Together with the King of Pamplona, Ordoño took many strong areas of the current La Rioja, but death surprised him in June of 924. According to a tale, he “was farsighted in every war, fair with every citizen, merciful with the powerless and poor, and outstanding regarding his government duties within the kingdom.” He is now buried at the head of the Cathedral of León. He had four sons (Sancho, Alfonso, Ramiro and García), of whom three would reach the Leonese throne. However, he was succeeded by his brother Fruela, who had been governing Asturias and Cantabria.