Kingdom Of Navarra
Nafarroako Erresuma (Basque)
Timeline: Principia Moderni II (Map Game)

OTL equivalent: Basque Country, Biscay
Bandera de Reino de Navarra.svg Coat of Arms of the Kingdom of Navarre (Variant).svg
Flag Coat of Arms
Hispano-French Empire PMII
Navarra in dark red
(and largest city)
Language Basque
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Feudal Monarchy
King Felipe V de Comminges-Guitaut
Population 800,000 
Established 824, under Iñigo Arista
1660, dissociated from Aragon
Currency Real

The Kingdom of Navarra is a nation in Europe .It borders the kingdoms of Castille, to the west, Aquitaine, to the north, and Aragon, to the south.


The kingdom of Pamplona and then Navarre formed part of the traditional territory of the Vascones, a pre-Roman tribe who occupied the southern slope of the western Pyrenees and part of the shore of the Bay of Biscay. The area was completely conquered by the Romans by 74 BC. It was first part of the Roman province of Citerior, then of the Tarraconensis province and after that of the conventus Caesaraugustanus. Rome left a clear mark in the area in urbanization, language, infrastructure, commerce, and industry.

After the decline of the Western Roman Empire neither the Visigoths nor the Arabs ever succeeded in permanently occupying the western Pyrenees. The western Pyrenees passages were the only ones allowing good transit through the mountains, other than those through the southern Pyrenees. That made the region strategically important early in its history.

The Franks under Charlemagne extended their influence and control towards the south, occupying several regions of the north and east of the Iberian Peninsula. It is not clear how solid the Frankish control over Pamplona was. On August 15, 778, after the retreating Charlemagne had demolished the walls of Pamplona, the Basque tribes annihilated his rearguard, led by Roland, in a confrontation at a mountain passage known to history as the Battle of Roncevaux Pass. In response, the Cordoban Emirate launched a campaign to place the region under their firm control, and in 781 defeated a local leader called Ibn Balask ("son of Velasco") and seated a muwallad governor, Mutarrif ibn Musa, in Pamplona. The same year Basque leader Jimeno 'the Strong' submitted to the Emir.

In 799, Mutarrif ibn Musa was killed by a pro-Frankish faction whose leader Velasco gained control of the region. In 806 and 812 Pamplona fell again into the Franks' hands. However, when on account of difficulties at home the Frankish rulers were no longer able to give their attention to the outlying borderlands of their empire, the country gradually withdrew entirely from their allegiance. The Emirate also attempted to re-establish its control in the region, and in 816 fought a battle there against the "enemy of Allah", Balask al-Yalaski (Velasco the Gascon), who was killed along with Garcia Loup, kinsman of Alfonso II of Asturias, Sancho, premier knight in Pamplona, and Saltan, premier knight of the Mayus (pagans).

Also in 816, Louis the Pious decided to remove the rebellious Seguin as Duke of Vasconia, only to have another rebel, Garcia Semen arise in his place, with him being killed in 818. Louis' son Pepin, now King of Aquitaine, stamped out the Vasconic revolt in Gascony and then pursued the chieftains who had taken refuge in southern Vasconia, i.e. Pamplona and Navarre, no longer controlled by the Franks. He sent over an army led by the counts Aeblus and Aznar-Sanchez (the latter being appointed lord, but not duke, of Vasconia by Pepin after suppressing the uprising in the Duchy of Vasconia), accomplishing their goals with no resistance in Pamplona (still lacking walls after the 778 destruction). On the way back, however, they were ambushed and defeated again in Roncesvaux by a probable joint Vasconic-Muslim force. Out of this pattern of resistance against both Frankish and Cordoban interests arose the Basque chieftain Íñigo Arista, who tradition has elected as king of Pamplona in 824, giving rise to a dynasty of kings in Pamplona that would last for four score years.

At this point of history, Pamplona and Navarre were two separate entities. Pamplona is cited in 778 by Frankish accounts as a Navarrese stronghold, while this may be put down to their vague knowledge of the Vasconic territory. They do distinguish Navarre and the Vasconic main town in 806 though ("In Hispania, vero Navarrensis et Pampelonensis"), while the Chronicle of Fontenelle quotes "Induonis et Mitionis, ducum Navarrorum". The primitive Navarre may have comprised the valleys of Goñi, Gesalaz, Lana, Allin, Deierri, Berrueza and Mañeru which later formed the merindad of Estella.

In 905, the dynasty founded by Íñigo Arista was overthrown through the machinations of neighboring princes, and Sancho I Garcés (905–25), nephew of the Count of Ribagorza, was placed in the throne. He fought against the Moors with repeated success and joined Ultra-Puertos, or Basse-Navarre, to his own dominions, also extending its territory as far as Nájera. As a thanksgiving for his victories, he founded, in 924, the convent of Albelda. Before his death, all Moors had been driven from the country. His son and eventual successor, Garcia Sanchez I (931–70), who had the support of his energetic and diplomatic mother Toda (Teuda) Aznárez of the line of Arista, likewise engaged in a number of conflicts with the Moors. At this time, the county of Aragon, previously only nominally a vassal state, came under the direct control of the kings of Pamplona.

In 934, Abd-ar-Rahman III intervened in the kingdom, beginning a period of frequent punitive campaigns from Córdoba and submission to tributary status by Pamplona. Garcia Sanchez's son, Sancho II Garces, nicknamed Abarca, ruled as king of Pamplona from 970 to 994. Around 985 Sancho II Garces crossed the Pyrenees to Gascony, which was being raided by the Normans, probably in rescue of his brother-in-law William Sánchez, but had to make his way back on the news of a Muslim attack against Pamplona. The passes were, however, covered in snow, but the expeditionary force contrived some proper shoes ("Abarca" in Basque) to make it through the mountains, which allowed them to catch the besieging Muslim assailants by surprise and overcome them, hence the nickname.

The Historia General de Navarra by Jaime del Burgo says that on the occasion of the donation of the villa of Alastue by the king of Pamplona to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña in 987, he styled himself "King of Navarre", the first time that title had been used. In many places he appears as the first King of Navarre and in others the third; however, he was at least the seventh king of Pamplona.

Under Sancho III the Great (reigned 1000/4–1035) and his immediate successors, Pamplona reached the height of its power and extent. Navarre had joined in the Christian coalition that defeated and killed Al-Mansur Ibn Abi Aamir in 1002, leading to civil war that eventually resulted in the dissolution of the Córdoba Caliphate, replacing the dominant power on the peninsula with a collection of ineffectual Taifa states and freeing Navarre from the continual campaigns and tribute. Inheriting Pamplona, including Aragon, Sancho III conquered Ribagorza and Sobrarbe, which had been depopulated since the collapse of Moorish control. The minority of García Sánchez of Castile forced the County of Castile to submit to vassalage under Sancho, the count's brother-in-law, and García's 1028 assassination allowed Sancho to appoint his younger son Ferdinand as count. He also exerted a protectorate over Gascony. He seized the country of the Pisuerga and the Cea, which belonged to the Kingdom of León, and marched armies to the heart of that kingdom forcing king Bermudo III of León to flee to a Galician refuge. Sancho thereby effectively ruled the north of Iberia from the boundaries of Galicia to those of the count of Barcelona.

At its greatest extent the Kingdom of Navarre included all the modern Spanish province; the northern slope of the western Pyrenees called by the Spaniards the ultra puertos ("country beyond the mountain passes") or French Navarre; the Basque provinces of Spain and France; the Bureba, the valley between the Basque mountains and the Montes de Oca to the north of Burgos; the Rioja and Tarazona in the upper valley of the Ebro. On his death, Sancho divided his possessions among his four sons. Sancho the Great's realm was never again united (until Ferdinand the Catholic): Castile was permanently joined to Leon, whereas Aragon enlarged its territory, joining Catalonia through a marriage.

Of Sancho's sons, Garcia of Najera inherited the Kingdom of Pamplona and merged into it the eastern part of the County of Castile (from the proximity of Burgos and Santander); the rest of Castile and the lands between the Pisuerga and the Cea went to the eldest son, Fernando; to Gonzalo were given Sobrarbe and Ribagorza; lands in Aragon were allotted to the bastard son Ramiro. The realm was divided thus once more into Navarre, Aragón, and Castile.

Younger son Ferdinand I inherited a diminished County of Castile, but after acquiring the Kingdom of León, he used the title of King of Castile as well, and he enlarged his realm by various means (see Kingdom of Castile).

The bastard son of Sancho III, Ramiro de Aragon, founded the Navarrese line of Aragon.

García, the eldest legitimate son, was to be feudal overlord of his brothers, but he was soon challenged by his brothers, leading to the first partition of the kingdom after his death in the Battle of Atapuerca, in 1054. Ecclesiastical affairs

In this period of independence, the ecclesiastical affairs of the country reached a high state of development. Sancho the Great was brought up at Leyra, which was also for a short time the capital of the Diocese of Pamplona. Beside this see, there existed the Bishopric of Oca, which was united in 1079 to the Diocese of Burgos. In 1035 Sancho the Great re-established the See of Palencia, which had been laid waste at the time of the Moorish invasion. When, in 1045, the city of Calahorra was wrested from the Moors, under whose dominion it had been for more than three hundred years, a see was also founded here, which in the same year absorbed the Diocese of Najera and, in 1088, the Diocese of Alava, the jurisdiction of which covered about the same ground as that of the present Diocese of Vitoria. To Sancho the Great, also, the See of Pamplona owed its re-establishment, the king having, for this purpose, convoked a synod at Leyra in 1022 and one at Pamplona in 1023. These synods likewise instituted a reform of ecclesiastical life with the above-named convent, as a centre.

Navarra's dismemberment

First partition

García Sánchez III (1035–54) soon found himself struggling against his brothers, especially the ambitious Ferdinand of Castile. He died fighting against him in Atapuerca, near Burgos, then the border of Pamplona.

He was succeeded by Sancho IV (1054–76) of Peñalén, who was murdered by his brother. This crime caused a dynastic crisis that the Castilian and Aragonese monarchs used to their benefit.

The royal title was transferred to the Aragonese line but Castile swiftly annexed two thirds of the realm from the historical border of the Atapuerca–Santander line to a vague partition-line at the Ega valley, near Estella.

It is in this period of Aragonese domination that the name of Navarre first appears historically, referring initially to a county that comprised only the central part of modern Navarre.

The three Aragonese rulers, Sancho Ramirez (1076–94) and his son Pedro Sanchez (1094–1104) conquered Huesca; Alfonso "the Fighter", 1104–34, brother of Pedro Sanchez, secured for the country its greatest territorial expansion. He wrested Tudela from the Moors (1114), re-conquered the entire country of Bureba, which Navarre had lost in 1042, and advanced into the current Province of Burgos; in addition, Roja, Najera, Logroño, Calahorra, and Alfaro were subject to him. He also annexed Labourd, with its strategic port of Bayonne, but lost its coastal half to the English soon after. The remainder has been part of Navarre since then and eventually came to be known as Lower Navarre.


This status quo stood for two decades until Alfonso the Battler, dying without heirs, decided to give his realm away to the military orders, particularly the Templars. This decision was rejected by the courts (parliaments) of both Aragon and Navarre, which then chose separate kings.

García Ramírez, known as the Restorer, is the first King of Navarre to use such a title. He was Lord of Monzón, a grandson of Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar, El Cid, and a descendant by illegitimate line of king García Sánchez III. He and his son Sancho the Wise fought bitterly against Castile (and sometimes also against Aragon) for the recovery of the historic Pamplonese territory.

In 1177, the dispute was submitted to arbitration by Henry II of England. The Navarrese based their claims on the proven will of the locals and history, the Castilians on their merits as crusaders. The English awarded each side what they actually controlled militarily at the time: to Navarre, Alava, Biscay and Guipuscoa; to Castile, La Rioja and the other western lands.

Although the arbitration decision was ignored for two years, in 1179 the contending kings finally agreed to a peace on the same terms. Navarre (light green) in 1190

Sancho Garcia, known as Sancho VI "the Wise" (1150–94), a patron of learning, as well as an accomplished statesman, fortified Navarre within and without, granted charters (fueros) to a number of towns, and was never defeated in battle.

The rich dowry of Berengaria, the daughter of Sancho VI the Wise and Blanche of Castile, made her a desirable catch for Richard I of England. His aged mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine, crossed the Pyrenean passes to escort Berengaria to Sicily, eventually to wed Richard in Cyprus, 12 May 1191. She is the only Queen of England who never set foot in England.

The reign of Sancho the Wise's successor, the last king of the male line of Sancho the Great and of kings of Pamplona, king Sancho VII the Strong (Sancho el Fuerte) (1194–1234), was more troubled. He appropriated the revenues of churches and convents, granting them instead important privileges; in 1198 he presented to the See of Pamplona his palaces and possessions in that city, this gift being confirmed by Pope Innocent III on 29 January 1199.

Second partition

However, in 1199 Alfonso VIII of Castile, son of Sancho III of Castile and Blanche of Navarre, determined to own coastal Navarre, a strategic region that would allow Castile much easier access to European wool markets and would isolate Navarre as well, launched a massive expedition, while Sancho the Strong was on an international diplomatic voyage to Tlemcen (modern Algeria).

The cities of Vitoria and Treviño resisted the Castilian assault but the Bishop of Pamplona was sent to inform them that no reinforcements would arrive. Vitoria then surrendered but Treviño did not, having to be conquered by force of arms.

By 1200 the conquest of Western Navarre was complete. Castile granted to the fragments of this territory (exceptions: Treviño, Oñati, directly ruled from Castile) the right of self-rule, based on their traditional customs (Navarrese right), that came to be known as fueros. Alava was made a county, Biscay a lordship and Guipuscoa just a province. The late reign of Sancho the Strong

The greatest glory of Sancho el Fuerte was the part he took in the battle of Las Navas de Tolosa (1212), where, through his valour, the victory of the allied Christians over the Caliph En-Nasir was made decisive. He retired and died in el Encerrado. His elder sister Berengaria, Queen of England, had died childless some years earlier. His deceased younger sister Blanca, countess of Champagne, had left a son, Theobald IV of Champagne.

Thus the Kingdom of Navarre, though the crown was still claimed by the kings of Aragon, passed by marriage to the House of Champagne, firstly to the heirs of Blanca, who were simultaneously counts of Champagne and Brie, with the support of the Navarrese Parliament (Cortes).

Navarre in the High Middle Ages

Theobald I made of his court a centre where the poetry of the troubadours that had developed at the court of the counts of Champagne was welcomed and fostered; his reign was peaceful. His son, King Theobald II (1253–70), married King Louis IX of France's daughter Isabella and accompanied his saintly father-in-law upon his crusade to Tunis. On the homeward journey, he died at Trapani in Sicily, and was succeeded by his brother, King Henry I, who had already assumed the reins of government during his absence, but reigned only three years (1271–74). His daughter, Queen Joan I, ascended as minor and the country was once again invaded from all sides. The queen and her mother, Blanche of Artois, sought refuge at the court of King Philip III of France. His son, the future King Philip IV of France, had become engaged to the young sovereign and married her in 1284. In 1276, at the time of the negotiations for this marriage, Navarre effectively passed into French control.

The Kingdom of Navarre remained in personal union with the Kingdom of France until the death of King Charles I (Charles IV of France) in 1328. He was succeeded by his niece, Queen Joanna II, daughter of King Louis I (Louis X of France), and nephew-in-law, King Philip III. Joanna waived all claim to the throne of France and accepted as compensation for the counties of Champagne and Brie those of Angoulême, Longueville, and Mortain.

King Philip III devoted himself to the improvement of the laws of the country, and joined King Alfonso XI of Castile in battle against the Moors of 1343. After the death of his mother (1349), King Charles II assumed the reins of government (1349–87). He played an important part in the Hundred Years' War and in the French civil unrest of the time, and on account of his deceit and cruelty he received the surname of the Wicked. He gained and lost possessions in Normandy and, later in his reign, the Navarrese Company acquired island possessions in Greece. Navarre possessions in France 1360

His eldest son, on the other hand, King Charles III, surnamed the Noble, gave the land once more a peaceful and happy government (1387–1425), exerted his strength to the utmost to lift the country from its degenerate condition, reformed the government, built canals, and made navigable the tributaries of the Ebro flowing through Navarre. As he outlived his legitimate sons, he was succeeded by his daughter, Queen Blanche I (1425–42), and son-in-law, King John II (1397–1479).


House of Iñiguez

  • Iñigo I (790-852)
  • Garcia I (c. 810-882)
  • Fortún (c.840-905)
House of Jiménez
  • García II (830-885)
  • Sancho I (c.870-925)
  • Jimeno I (c.870-931)
  • Garcia III (919-970)
  • Sancho II (935-994)
  • Garcia IV (964-1004)
  • Sancho III (985-1035)
  • Garcia V (1016-1054)
  • Sancho IV (1038-1076)
  • Sancho V (1042-1094)
  • Pedro I (1067-1104)
  • Alfonso I (1073-1134)
  • Garcia VI (1114-1150)
  • Sancho VI (1133-1194)
  • Sancho VII (1157-1234)
  • Blanca I (1177-1229)

House of Champagne

  • Theobald I (1201-1253)
  • Theobald II (1238-1270)
  • Henry I (1244-1274)
  • Joan I (1273-1304)

House of Capet

  • Philip I (1268-1314)
  • Louis I (1289-1316)
  • Jean I (1316)
  • Philip II (1292-1322)
  • Charles I (1294-1328)
  • Joan II (1312-1348)

House of Évreux

  • Philip III (1306-1343)
  • Charles II (1332-1387)
  • Charles III (1361-1425)
  • Blanca II (1385-1441)

House of Trastámara

  • Juan II (1397-1453)
  • Charles IV (1421-1466)
  • Juan III (1454-1500)
  • Blanca III (1457-1513)

House of Hohenzollern

  • Guillém I (1480-1520)
  • Frederic I (1505-1536)
  • Frederic II (1508-1559)
  • Luis II (1527-1568)
  • Guillém II (1545-1588)
  • Luis III (1564-1590)
  • Guillém III (1565-1604)
  • Frederic III (1585-1606)
  • Luis IV (1587-1635)
  • Guillém IV (1608-1640)
  • Luis V (1610-[1640-1656]-?)

House of Lara

  • Garcia VII (1611-[1660]1680)
  • Fernando I (1612-[1660-1666]-1686)
  • Fernando II (1642-1680)
  • Garcia VIII (1665-1683)
  • Sancho VIII (1670-1690)
  • Joana III (1667-1739)

House of Comminges-Guitaut

  • Felipe IV (1663-1733)
  • Juan IV (1690-1752)
  • Garcia IX (1714-1780)

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