Ferdinand III of Castile

Fernando III called El Santo (the Saint), (1198/1199 - May 30, 1252) was a king of Castile (1217 - 1252) and Leon (1230 - 1252). He was the son of Alfonso IX and Berenguela of Castile, daughter of Alfonso VIII. Because his parents were first cousins, their marriage was anulled, but Fernando remained legitimized and was able to succeed his father as king.

In 1231 he united Castile and Leon permanently.

Fernando spent much of his reign fighting the Moors. He captured the towns of Córdoba in 1236, Jan in 1246, and Seville in 1248, and occupied Murcia in 1243, thereby completing the reconquest of Spain excepting Granada, whose king nevertheless did homage to Fernando.

He founded the University of Salamanca and the Cathedral of Burgos.

Fernando was canonized by Pope Clement X in 1671. Several places named San Fernando were founded across the Spanish Empire.

Marriages and Family

In 1219, Ferdinand married the daughter of the German king Philip of Swabia, Elizabeth, called Beatriz in Spain. Their children were:

  1. King Alfonso X of Castile (November 23, 1221-1284)
  2. Infante Fadrique (September 1223-1277), secretly executed by his brother Alfonso.
  3. Infante Fernando (March 1225-1243/1248)
  4. Infanta Leonor (1227-died young)
  5. Infanta Berenguela, a nun at las Huelgas (1228-1288/89).
  6. Infante Enrique "El Senador" (March 1230-August 1304)
  7. Infante Felipe (December 1231-1274). He was promised to the Church, but was so taken with the beauty of Princess Christine of Norway (daughter of Haakon IV of Norway), who had been intended as a bride for one of his brothers, that he abandoned his holy vows and married her. She died in 1262, childless.
  8. Infante Sancho, Archbishop of Toledo and Seville (1233-1261)
  9. Infante Juan Manuel (1234-November 1283)
  10. Infanta Maria, died an infant in November 1235.

After Elizabeth died in 1235, he married Jeanne de Dammartin, Countess of Ponthieu, before August 1237. They had four sons and one daughter:

  1. Infante Fernando, Count of Aumale (1239-1269)
  2. Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290), wife of King Edward I of England.
  3. Infante Luis (1243-1269)
  4. Infante Ximen (1244), died young and buried in a monastery in Toledo.
  5. Infante Juan (1245), died young and buried at the cathedral in Cordoba.


Preceded by:
Alfonso VIII
King of Castile Succeeded by:
Alfonso X
Alfonso IX King of Leon
de:Ferdinand III. (Kastilien)

fr:Ferdinand III de Castille it:Ferdinando III di Castiglia ja:フェルナンド3世


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