García Sánchez I of Pamplona

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García Sánchez I, sometimes García I, II, III or IV (c. 919 – 22 February 970) was the king of Pamplona from 931 until his death, 22 February 970.[1]

Family and reign[edit]

He was the son of King Sancho I and Toda Aznárez and had a sister, Urraca Sánchez of Pamplona. Being just six years old at the time of his father's death, his uncle Jimeno Gárces succeeded, and it was just in the last year of the latter's reign, in 930, that Garcia appears with the royal title, but this was probably just a courtesy. On Jimeno's death, it was his mother Toda who governed on behalf of the 12-year-old García. This regency ended in 934, when his first cousin Caliph Abd-ar-Rahman III intervened on his behalf, and García began to rule as king.

With the support of his energetic and diplomatic mother, García, like his father, engaged in a number of conflicts with the Moors. In particular, in 937, he allied himself with Ramiro II of León and Muhammad ibn Hashim, governor of Zaragoza, resulting in a military campaign by Abd-ar-Rahman III via Calatayud and Zaragoza into García'a lands. García married his first cousin, Andregota Galíndez, daughter and coheiress of Galindo Aznárez II, Count of Aragon, having one son and heir, Sancho II. He had divorced her by 940, when he reached an agreement to marry the daughter of Sunyer, Count of Barcelona, but the forced submission of Sunyer to Abd-ar-Rahman included the abandonment of this plan. García then married Teresa, daughter of his ally Ramiro II.

Following the death of Ramiro II and his successor Ordoño III of León, the Pamplona kingdom threw support behind the deceased king's younger brother, Sancho I of León, who was García's nephew. When García's brother-in-law and ally Fernán González of Castile switched his support and installed his own son-in-law Ordoño IV of León in place of Sancho, Fernán's relationship with García became strained and the death of Fernán's wife, García's sister Sancha the next year led to a break. García directly intervened in León, capturing Fernán and restoring Sancho. Fernán was forced to make territorial concessions to García to gain his release, and their alliance wasn't fully restored until 954, when Fernán remarried, this time to García's daughter Urraca.

García was succeeded by his son Sancho II Garcés, nicknamed Abarca. His younger son Ramiro Garcés, the eldest by Teresa, was called "king" of lands centered at Viguera. By Teresa he also had son Jimeno (also called "king" in documents), who was a hostage in Córdoba. García had two daughters, Toda, who appears in a 991 document with brother Sancho, and Urraca who married successively Fernán González of Castile and William II Sánchez of Gascony.



  1. ^ The Anales de Pamplona indicates that he was aged 12 at the time he became king. This is usually taken to reflect a birth in 919 and succession on the death of his uncle in 931. However, the Initium regnum Pampilonam says that at the time of his death in February 970 he had ruled for 35 years, apparently using his mother's 934 displacement as regent for the starting date. If this is the date used by the Anales it would instead place his birth about 922. Antonio Ubieto Arteta, "Los reyes pamploneses entre 905 y 970"
  2. ^ Salas Merino, Vicente (2008). La Genealogía de Los Reyes de España [The Genealogy of the Kings of Spain] (in Spanish) (4th ed.). Madrid: Editorial Visión Libros. pp. 216–218. ISBN 978-84-9821-767-4. 
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Jimeno Garcés
King of Pamplona
with Toda Aznárez (931–934)
Succeeded by
Sancho II