Facts and Events
Sancha of Castile (21 September 1154/5 – 9 November 1208) was the only surviving child of King Alfonso VII of Castile by his second queen, Richeza of Poland, who was the daughter of Vladislav II, Duke of Silesia. On January 18, 1174, she married King Alfonso II of Aragon at Zaragoza; they had at least eight children who survived into adulthood (see below).
A patroness of troubadours such as Giraud de Calanson and Peire Raymond, the queen became involved in a legal dispute with her husband concerning properties which formed part of her dower estates. In 1177 she entered the county of Ribagorza and took forcible possession of various castles and fortresses which had belonged to the crown there.
After her husband died at Perpignan in 1196, Sancha was relegated to the background of political affairs by her son Peter/Pedro II, and she retired from court, withdrawing to the convent for noble ladies, the Monastery of Santa María de Sigena, at Sigena, which she had founded. There she assumed the cross of the Order of St John of Jerusalem which she wore till the end of her life. The queen mother entertained her widowed daughter Queen Constanza of Hungary (1179–1222) at Sijena prior to her leaving Aragon for her marriage with the emperor Frederick II in 1208. She died soon afterwards, aged fifty-four, and was interred in front of the high altar of her foundation at Sigena; her tomb is still to be seen.