Kingdom of Aragon

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Kingdom of Aragon
Reino d'Aragón (Aragonese)
Regne d'Aragó (Catalan)
Regnum Aragonum (Latin)
Reino de Aragón (Spanish)
In red, the modern territory of Aragon within Spain
Capital Jaca, Huesca, Zaragoza (in chronological order)
Languages Aragonese, Catalan, Castilian, Latin, Mozarabic
Religion Roman Catholicism
Government Feudal monarchy
Legislature Cortes of Aragon
Historical era Medieval / Early Modern
 •  County of Aragon established as independent kingdom 1035
 •  Nueva Planta decrees dissolved Aragonese institutions in 1707 1706
Preceded by
Succeeded by
County of Aragon
Enlightenment in Spain
Today part of  Spain

The Kingdom of Aragon (Aragonese: Reino d'Aragón, Catalan: Regne d'Aragó, Latin: Regnum Aragonum, Spanish: Reino de Aragón) was a medieval and early modern kingdom on the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain. It should not be confused with the larger Crown of Aragon, that also included other territories — the Principality of Catalonia (which included the County of Barcelona and the other Catalan Counties), the Kingdom of Valencia, the Kingdom of Majorca, and other possessions that are now part of France, Italy, and Greece — that were also under the rule of the King of Aragon, but were administered separately from the Kingdom of Aragon.


Independent kingdom[edit]

Aragon was originally a Carolingian feudal county around the city of Jaca, which in the first half of the 9th century became a vassal state of the kingdom of Pamplona (later Navarre), its own dynasty of counts ending without male heir in 922. The name Aragón is the same as that of the river Aragón, which flows by Jaca. It might derive from the Basque Aragona/Haragona meaning "good upper valley" ("haran+goi+ona", where "haran" = valley, "goi"= upper, high, and "ona"= good). Alternatively, the name may be derived from the earlier Roman province of Hispania Tarraconensis.[citation needed]

On the death of Sancho III of Navarre in 1035, the Kingdom of Navarre was divided into three parts: (1) Pamplona and its hinterland along with western and coastal Basque districts, (2) Castile and (3) Sobrarbe, Ribagorza and Aragon. Sancho's son Gonzalo inherited Sobrarbe and Ribargorza, whereas his illegitimate son Ramiro received Aragon, but Gonzalo was killed soon after and all the land he owned went to his brother Ramiro, thus becoming the first de facto king of Aragon,[1] although he never used that title.

By defeating his brother, García Sánchez III of Navarre, Ramiro achieved independence for Aragon. His son Sancho Ramírez, who also inherited the kingdom of Navarre, was the first to call himself "King of the Aragonians and Pamplonese".[2] As the Aragonian domains expanded to the south, conquering land from Al Andalus, the capital city moved from Jaca to Huesca (1096), and later to Zaragoza (1118). After Alfonso the Battler died childless in 1135, different rulers were chosen for Navarre and Aragon, and the two kingdoms ceased to have the same ruler. By 1285 the southernmost areas of what is nowadays Aragon had been taken from the Moors.

Dynastic union with the County of Barcelona[edit]

See also: Crown of Aragon

The Kingdom of Aragón gave the name to the Crown of Aragon, born in 1150 with the dynastic union resulting from the marriage of the Queen of Aragon (Petronilla of Aragon) and the Count of Barcelona (Ramon Berenguer IV); their son Alfonso II would inherit all different territories in the House of Aragon and the House of Barcelona. The King of Aragon had also the title of Count of Barcelona and ruled territories that consisted of not only the present administrative region of Aragon but also Catalonia, and later the kingdoms of Majorca, Valencia, Sicily, Naples and Sardinia. The King of Aragón was the direct King of the Aragonese region, and held also the title of Count of Provence, Count of Barcelona, Lord of Montpellier, and Duke of Athens and Neopatria. Each of these titles gave him sovereignty over a certain region, and these titles changed as he lost and won territories. In the 14th century, his power was greatly restricted by the Union of Aragon.

Union of the Crowns of Aragon and Castile and afterwards[edit]

The Crown of Aragon became a part of the Spanish monarchy after the dynastic union with Castile, which supposed the de facto unification of both kingdoms under a common monarch. In 1412, after the extinction in 1410 of the house of Barcelona, which had ruled the crown up to that date, the Aragonese procured the election of a Castilian prince, Ferdinand of Antequera, for the vacant Aragonese throne, over strong Catalan opposition. One of Ferdinand's successors, John II of Aragon (1458–79), countered residual Catalan resistance by arranging for his heir, Ferdinand, to marry Isabella, the heiress of Henry IV of Castile. In 1479, upon John II’s death, the crowns of Aragon and Castile were united to form the nucleus of modern Spain. The Aragonese lands, however, retained autonomous parliamentary and administrative institutions, such as the Corts, until the Nueva Planta decrees, promulgated between 1707 and 1715 by Philip V of Spain in the aftermath of the War of the Spanish Succession, finally put an end to it.[3] The decrees ended the kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia and Mallorca and the Principality of Catalonia, and merged them with Castile to officially form the Spanish kingdom.[4] A new Nueva Planta decree in 1711 restored some rights in Aragon, such as the Aragonese Civil Rights, but preserved the end of the political independence of the kingdom.[4]

The old kingdom of Aragon survived as an administrative unit until 1833, when it was divided into the three existing provinces. In the aftermath of Francisco Franco's death, in 1982 Aragon became one of the autonomous communities of Spain.

Historic Coat of Arms of Aragon

See also[edit]


  1. ^ CAI Tourism of Aragon. Retrieved 2010-03-05
  2. ^ Antonio Ubieto, Creación y desarrollo de la Corona de Aragón, Anubar, Zaragoza, 1987, pp. 58–59. ISBN 84-7013-227-X
  3. ^ I. Ruiz Rodríguez, Apuntes de historia del derecho y de las instituciones españolas, Dykinson, Madrid, 2005, p. 179. (In Spanish)
  4. ^ a b Albareda Salvadó, Joaquim (2010). La Guerra de Sucesión de España (1700-1714). Barcelona: Crítica. pp. 228–229. ISBN 978-84-9892-060-4. 

Coordinates: 41°39′N 0°54′W / 41.650°N 0.900°W / 41.650; -0.900