Ferdinand III of Castile
My 22nd Great Grandfather

Born: 5 August 1199, Monastery of Valparaíso, Peleas de Arriba, Zamora, Spain
Died: 30 May 1252, Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain
Buried: The Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain

Father: Alfonso IX of Léon
Mother: Berengaria of Castile
Siblings: Berengaria Of Léon

Wife: Joan, Countess of Ponthieu
Children: Eleanor of Castile

Fernando III of Castile

Ferdinand was the first king to rule over both the kingdoms of Castile and León, and in his lifetime was also crowned king of Toledo and Galicia. In his reign, significant conquest was made in the lands of al-Andalus. Ferdinand’s armies were responsible for bringing the cities of Córdoba and Sevilla under Christian control.

Ferdinand is buried in a tomb beneath the Seville Cathedral, which is the largest gothic cathedral and the third largest church in the world. His tomb is inscribed in four languages: Arabic, Hebrew, Latin, and an early version of Castilian.

As the first kind to rule over both kingdoms of Castile and León, Ferdinand was also the first to bear the standard of the castle and lion. His standard from the 13th century is on display in the cathedral:

Standard of Ferndando III

Ferdinand’s tomb is brought out and put on display only once per year. I tried to see him in Spring 2011 but I was not able to make it through the line before they closed the doors. If/when I make it back, I will post photos of his tomb. In the meantime, here are some photos from the Cathedral where he is buried:

Sevilla Cathedral | Orange Trees

Courtyard of the Oranges

Sevilla Cathedral

Sevilla Cathedral

Incidentally, this cathedral is also where the tomb of Christopher Columbus is kept:

Tomb of Christopher Columbus in Sevilla Cathedral

The building was originally a mosque but was converted to a Christian cathedral in the early 16th century. The Giralda bell tower was originally the mosque’s minaret:

Sevilla | Giralda & Orange Trees

The Giralda is particularly gothic looking after sundown. Watch this video of bats circling the tower in full screen to get the whole gothic effect:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bE8dsiP1rTY&w=853&h=480]