Favila of Asturias

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First two carvings of a series of three depicting Favila's last day. On the left he is kissing his queen, Froiluba, goodbye from atop his horse, with his hunting falcon on his arm. On the right he bids her farewell in the same manner in front of his palace. The final sculpture (not shown) depicts his fatal fight with the bear. From the twelfth-century portal of the monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva.

Fafila, Favila, or Favilac (died 739) was the second King of Asturias from 737 until his death. He was the only son and successor of Pelagius, the first Asturian monarch, and was named after his paternal grandfather, who was the youngest son of Chindasuinth.

In 737 he founded the Church of Santa Cruz, in his capital of Cangas de Onís, but aside from this, nothing else about his reign is known.

He was said to have been killed by a bear on a hunt. The hunt was probably a political tool for fostering political ties within his court,[citation needed] a common medieval practice.[citation needed] Nonetheless, later chroniclers[who?] criticised him as given over to excessive levity.

A 1530s miniature, depicting Favila being mauled by a bear.

Favila was buried with his wife Froiluba in the Church of Santa Cruz de Cangas de Onís. According to the foundation inscription of Santa Cruz, he left children, but they did not succeed him. He was succeeded by his brother-in-law Alfonso, husband of his sister Ermesinda.


Preceded by
King of Asturias
Succeeded by
Alfonso I