Sancho III of Castile

Sancho III

Sancho III of Castile in a miniature of the Compendium of Chronicles of Kings of the National Library of Spain
King of Castile and Toledo
Reign 21 August 1157 31 August 1158
Predecessor Alfonso VII
Successor Alfonso VIII
Born c. 1134
Died 31 August 1158 (aged 2324)
Burial Cathedral of Toledo
Consort Blanche of Navarre
Issue Alfonso VIII of Castile
Infante Garcia
House House of Ivrea
Father Alfonso VII of León and Castile
Mother Berenguela of Barcelona
Religion Roman Catholicism

Sancho III (1134 31 August 1158), called the Desired (el Deseado),[1] was King of Castile and Toledo for one year, from 1157 to 1158. He was the son of Alfonso VII of León and Castile and his wife Berenguela of Barcelona, and was succeeded by his son Alfonso VIII. During the Reconquista, in which he took an active part, he founded the Order of Calatrava.[2] His nickname due to his position as the first child of his parents, born after eight years of childless marriage.


He was the eldest son of King Alfonso VII of León and Castile and Berengaria of Barcelona.[3] During his father's reign, he appears as "king of Nájera" as early as 1149. His father's will partitioned the kingdom between his two sons: Sancho inherited the kingdoms of Castile and Toledo, and Ferdinand inherited León.[4] The two brothers had just signed a treaty when Sancho suddenly died in the summer of 1158, being buried at Toledo.[5]

He had married, in 1151, Blanche of Navarre, daughter of García Ramírez of Navarre, and had two sons:

There may also have been an older son who died in infancy.



  1. The early 13th-century historian Rodrigo Jiménez de Rada called him desiderabilis Sancius.
  2. Kenneth John Conant, 311.
  3. M. M. Busk, 31.
  4. Peter Linehan, 8.
  5. Joseph F. O'Callaghan, 235.


Further reading

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Sancho III of Castile
Born: circa 1134 Died: 31 August 1158
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Alfonso VII
King of Castile and Toledo
Succeeded by
Alfonso VIII
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