The Kingdom of Navarra, 905-1512/15



After the Arab conquest of Spain in 711, the Basque Country proved an area difficult to control. Charlemagne regarded it part of the SPANISH MARCH, a stretch of buffer territory established between Umayyad Spain and the Frankish kingdom. But a contingent of Frankish troops, after having dismantled Pamplona of it's city walls, was ambushed at the PASS OF RONCEVALLES in 778. The Spanish March disintegrated.
In the 9th century, there were two separate kingdoms, the Kingdom of Navarra and the Kingdom of Pamplona. In 852, both kingdoms were united under King GARCIA SEMEN. The Kingdom's capital was PAMPLONA, the kingdom covering a stretch of the Basque country, the larger part located between the Pyrenees and the Ebro river. Navarra extended north of the Pyrenees.
In the 10th century, Navarra was just one of the Iberian kingdoms fighting the Moors. King SANCHO THE GREAT (1004-1035) unified Navarra, Castille and Aragon in Personal Union. When his realm was divided among his sons, Castille and Aragon successfully expanded at the expense of Almohad Spain. Navarra was deprived of it's part of the frontier; in 1076/1136 it's border province of LA RIOJA, Navarra's gain during the early Reconquista, was ceded to Castille. Navarra and Aragon were again united in Dynastic Union from 1076 to 1134. Navarra, however, now was a minor kingdom, having to look on while Portugal, Leon, Castile and Aragon expanded during the Reconquista. Around 1200, Navarra lost it's western provinces of VIZCAYA and GUIPUZCOA to Castile.
Navarra had a share of the frontier separating Muslim and christian Spain. In 1045, the Navarrese liberated the city of CALAHORRA, in 1114 TUDELA.



Since 1234, Navarra was tied dynastically to France, as marriages of the Navarrese dynasty were usually arranged with French princes and princesses. Navarra's historical function lay in international diplomacy. Richard Lionheart married princess Berenice of Navarra; as late as in the 16th century, long after the larger, southern part of Navarra had been integrated into Aragon in 1512-1515, King Henri of Navarra became King Henri IV. of France. Lower Navarra (north of the Pyrenees) since 1589 was united in Dynastic Union with France, it's kings ruling from Paris. It became an appendix to the French kingdom.
While Navarra seemed to be a state of insignificant size, Navarrese kings again and again played important roles in international policy. It was King John II. of Navarra, also King of Aragon, who in 1479 arranged the marriage between Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, a marriage that would lead to the creation of Spain. Several Navarrese kings played leading roles in French policy, the most important King Henry III. of Navarra, who would, as Good King Henry IV., restore peace to troubled France.

Ecclesiastically, Navarra contained the dioceses of Pamplona, Oca (for la Rioja, in 1079 united with Burgos), Calahorra (in 1079 Castilian), Najera (in 1045 moved to Calahorra).


List of Kings of Navarra, 905-1586
Links lead to Biographies from Encyclopaedia Britannica
852-860
860-882
882-905
905-925
925-970
970-994
994-1000
1000-1035
1035-1054
1054-1076
1076-1094
1094-1104
1104-1134
1134-1150
1150-1194
1194-1234
1234-1253
1253-1270
1270-1274
1274-1305
1305-1314
1305-1316
1316
1316-1322
1322-1328
1328-1349
1329-1343
1349-1387
1387-1425
1425-1441
1425-1479
1479
1479-1483
1482-1517
1484-1516
1517-1555
1555-1572
1555-1562
1572-1610
Garcia Semen
Garcia II. Eneco
Fortun Garcia
Sancho I. Garces
Garcia I. Sanchez
Sancho II. Garces Abarca
Garcia II. Sanchez
Sancho III. Garces, the Great
Garcia III. de Najera
Sancho IV. de Penalen
Sancho V. Ramirez
Peter I.
Alfonso I.
Garcia IV.
Sancho VI. the Wise
Sancho VII. the Strong
Theobald I.
Theobald II.
Henry I.
Joan I.
Philip I. the Beautiful
Louis I.
John I.
Philip II.
Charles I.
Joan II.
Philip III.
Charles II. the Evil
Charles III.
Blanche
John II.
Leonore
Francisco Febo
Catherine
John III.
Henry II.
Joan III.
Antoine I.
Henry III.
union of Navarra and Pamplona






union with Castille and Aragon


union with Aragon
union with Aragon
union with Aragon



House of Champagne



House of Capet




personal union with Aragon
House of Evreux




House of Foix

loses Upper Navarra to Spain 1512
House d'Albret


House of Bourbon


EXTERNAL
FILES
Navarre, from Heraldica and from infoplease; Article Navarra from the Catholic Encyclopedia
History of the Navarrese Royal Palace at Olite, from ctv.es
Basque People's History, has several paragraphs on Navarrese History
The Titles of European Rulers : Navarra
DOCUMENTS Flag of Navarra from FOTW, of Lower Navarra, from FOTW
REFERENCE



This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on November 9th 2004

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