Urraca I (1109-1126)

Urraca I
Autor: Rodríguez de Losada, José María

On his deathbed, Alfonso VI named Urraca as his successor. The princess was left a widow from her late husband Raimundo de Borgoña, with whom she had her children Sancha and Alfonso (future Alfonso VII).

Urraca was one of the first Queens who governed alone in all of occidental Europe. It was a rarity during those times, so the nobility forced her to marry king Alfonso I from Aragón, “The Warrior”. Their wedding announced a future union of the kingdoms of León and Aragón, but it ended up being a complete disaster: Urraca was abused by her husband, and Alfonso didn’t show any interest in having kids, so they separated and got a divorce. This led to almost three decades of wars between León and Aragón, since Alfonso I invaded and occupied Castille for a long time.

Furthermore, in 1116 began the confrontations between Urraca and her own son, Alfonso Raimúndez, who was being manipulated by the Bishop of Compostela, Diego Gelmírez. In 1117 there was a popular uprising in Santiago that almost cost the queen her life, and she ended up being thrown half naked in a quagmire. And as if Urraca’s problems were not enough, her half sister Teresa, who governed the región of Portugal, began acting increasingly independent, which meant a new kingdom was emerging.

In January of 1124 Alfonso Raimúndez and his mother, who had made peace with each other, took Siguenza (Guadalajara) from the muslims, which became the only important conquest in this period.

Urraca passed away near Saldaña a couple of years later, on March 8th or 9th of 1126. She was buried in the Royal Pantheon of Saint Isidoro.