García Sánchez III of Navarre


García Sánchez III of Navarre

García Sánchez III, sometimes García III, IV, V, or VI (also García of Nájera, from _es. García el de Nájera, 1016-1054), was king of Navarre from 1035 to 1054. He was the eldest legitimate son and heir of Sancho the Great, born November 1016, and he succeeded his father to the crown of Navarre, becoming feudal overlord over two of his brothers: Ramiro, who was given lands that would serve as the basis for the kingdom of Aragón; and Gonzalo, who received the counties of Sobrarbe and Ribagorza. Likewise, he had some claim to suzerainty over brother Ferdinand, who under their father had served as Count of Castile, nominally subject to the Kingdom of León but brought under the personal control of Sancho III.

In 1037, Ferdinand requested García's aid against his brother-in-law, Bermudo III of León, in battle near Pisuerga. The two brothers defeated Bermudo, who died in battle, the final king of the male line of Pedro de Cantabria, and Ferdinand succeeded in León.

By aiding Ferdinand, García received his brother's favour and, in a repartition of Castile, he expanded Navarre to the bay of Santander, incorporating the entire Basque Country.

Soon he was confronted by his brother Ramiro at Tafalla (1043) and defeated him, but this victory resulted in the effective independence of Ramiro.

García was one of the Christian kings to profit greatly from the weakened taifa kingdoms that arose through the disintegration of central control by the Caliphate of Córdoba. In 1045, he conquered Calahorra.

Relations eventually soured with Ferdinand and war broke out between the fraternal kingdoms, García dying in the Battle of Atapuerca, 15 September, 1054.

His nickname comes from his foundation of the monastery of Santa María la Real in Nájera.

Family

He was married, in 1038, to Estefanía, daughter of Ramon Borrell, Count of Barcelona (her dowry was the Cameros), and they produced nine children (four sons, five daughters):
*Sancho "El de Peñalén", king of Navarre, married Placencia
*Ramiro (d.1083), lord of Calahorra, married Teresa, daughter of count Gonzalo Salvadórez de Lara
*Ferdinand, lord of Bucesta, married Nuña de Vizcaya
*Raymond the Fraticide (Ramón el Fratricida), lord of Murillo and Cameros
*Ermesinda, married Fortún Sánchez de Yarnoz
*Mayor, married Guy II of Masón.
*Urraca (d.1108), married Castilian count García Ordóñez
*Jimena
*Mencia (d.1106), married Lope de Nájera

He also had illegitimate sons:

*Sancho, lord of Uncastillo and Sangüesa, by his wife, Constanza, grandfather of García Ramírez, king of Navarre
*Ramiro

After García's death, Estefanía is said to have remarried to Roger de Tosny, a Norman adventurer. Estefanía may have been a widow at the time of her marriage to García. A traditional poem tells of the marriage of an illegitimate son of García (presumed to be Sancho) to his step-sister, a daughter of Estefanía by a former husband.

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width="30%" align="center" | Preceded by:
Sancho III
width="40%" align="center" | King of Navarre
1035–1054
width="30%" align="center" | Sancho IV


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