Alfonso X

Alfonso X

King of Castile and Leon from 1252 to 1284.
Date of Birth: 23.11.1221
Country: Spain

Biography of Alfonso X of Castile

Alfonso X of Castile, also known as Alfonso X the Wise or Alfonso the Learned, was the King of Castile, Leon, and Galicia from 1252 until his death in 1284. He was born on November 23, 1221, in Toledo, Spain. Alfonso was the eldest son of King Ferdinand III of Castile and Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen, the fourth daughter of Philip, Duke of Swabia.

 Alfonso X

There is not much known about Alfonso's early years, but it is believed that he grew up in Toledo and was trained as a warrior. At the age of 16, Alfonso began his military service under the command of his father. He participated in various military campaigns and played a significant role in the conquest of Muslim fortresses in Al-Andalus.

In 1252, Alfonso succeeded his father and became the King of Castile and Leon. He also received the royal crown of Germany in 1257, though he had no real power in Germany. Alfonso was known for his intellectual pursuits and earned the nickname "the Wise" or "the Learned." He made significant contributions to the development of the Castilian language and the promotion of science, particularly astronomy.

Alfonso established a royal school of translators to enrich the royal library, and he commissioned chroniclers to compile the "Crónica general," which became a valuable source of knowledge about medieval Spain. Despite facing challenges in his personal life, including annulled marriages and illegitimate children, Alfonso remained dedicated to his scholarly pursuits and governance.

During his reign, Alfonso X faced economic difficulties and political unrest. He engaged in conflicts with neighboring Portugal, leading to the temporary conquest of Algarve. However, he later returned the region to Portugal through a negotiated agreement. Alfonso's involvement in German politics as a contender for the German throne drained significant resources from Castile and Leon.

In his later years, Alfonso faced a civil war with his second son, Sancho, who challenged his decision to leave the throne to his grandsons. Despite initially losing the conflict, Alfonso X died on April 4, 1284, at the age of 62. His reign left a lasting impact on Castilian culture and language, and he is remembered as a wise and learned ruler.