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ALFONSO VIII and Leonora of Acquitane

Son of Sancho III King of Castile and Blanche of Navarre.

Alfonso VIII (11 November 1155, Soria – 5 October 1214) was also called the Noble or el de las Navas. He was the King of Castile from 1158 to his death in 1214. He is most remembered for his part in the Reconquista and the downfall of the Almohad Caliphate. After having suffered a defeat at Alarcos, he won a decisive victory at Las Navas de Tolosa near Santa Elena on 16 July, 1212.

Alfonso was the founder of the first Spanish university, a studium generale at Palencia, which, however, did not survive him. His court also served as an important instrument for Spanish cultural achievement. His marriage (Burgos, September 1180) with Eleanor (Leonora), daughter of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, brought him under the influence of the greatest governing intellect of his time. Troubadours and sages were always present, largely due to the influence of Eleanor.

Alfonso died at Gutierre-Muñoz and was succeeded by his eldest surviving son, Henry I, named after his maternal grandfather.

Alfonso was the subject for Lion Feuchtwanger's novel Die Jüdin von Toledo (The Jewess of Toledo), in which is narrated an affair with a Jewish subject in medieval Toledo in a time when Spain was known to be the land of tolerance and learning for Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The titular Jewish woman of the novel is based on Alfonso's historical paramour, Rahel la Fermosa.

He died in 1214.

LEONORA of Acquitane. (Alainor)(Eleanor of England). [CHART A1].
Born on 13 OCT (1161)(1162). She married ALPHONSO VIII, King of Castille in 1169.

Eleanor died in (1214)(1215).

CHILDREN of ALFONSO VIII and Leonora of Acquitane:
  1. Berengaria, or Berengaria, (August 1180 – 8 November 1246), married Alfonso IX of Leon
  2. Sancho (1181)
  3. Sancha (1182 – 3 February 1184)
  4. Urraca (1186 – 1220), married Alfonso II of Portugal
  5. Blanche of Castile. Born on 4 March 1188. She married Louis VIII, King of France. She died on 26 November 1252.
  6. Ferdinand (29 September 1189 – 1211), on whose behalf Diego of Acebo and the future Saint Dominic travelled to Denmark in 1203 to secure a bride
  7. Mafalda (1191 – 1204)
  8. Constance (1195 – 1243), abbess of Santa María la Real of Las Huelgas
  9. Eleanor (1200 – 1244), married James I of Aragon
  10. Henry I (14 April 1204 – 1217), successor