Princesa Zaida

  • Canopy kind-size bed.
  • Typical floor from Fez.
  • Screen made of cedar wood.
  • Bath made of ancient marble with horseshoe arch windows.


Her story resembles a legend or an oriental tale, not only because she was extraordinarily loved by the king-emperor of Castilla y León, but also for being a refined, educated, well-mannered, intelligent and a specially beautiful woman. She gave birth to the king’s only son, Sancho III the Desired, who inherited the throne. This is the story of Zaída, daughter of the poet king of Seville Al-Mutamid and the refined poet of Al-Andalus Rumaykiyya. Born around the year 1070, her mother educated her, as a beloved princess, in the beauty and poetry, the singing, dancing and philosophy. Well related with the higher class of the andalusi society, with the best well-mannered and educated women of the court, Zaída resembled her mother because of her genius and beauty and her father because of her happiness. At the age of twelve, Zaída knew she was engaged to the Castilian king, though he was married with a catholic princess from the south of France, Inés de Aquitania: these are marriage policies. Princess Zaída entered this political world when her father, king of Seville, needed to sign some agreements with the powerful king Alfonso VI de Castilla y León. At this moment of the reconquest his power is so big nobody would dare to reign without his consent. It seems the proposal of marriage was made by the arab king, because Alfonso left the marriage for a later date in several occasions. Zaida was sent by her father to the king presence as his fiancée accompanied by a substantial monetary dote, which included big and important seats as Ocaña, Alarcos, Cuenca, etc. It is not known whether the princess went to fulfil the engagement or to ask the powerful king for some help for her father, because he established some alliances with Moorish kings, who paid enormous taxes for their protection against the almorávides. The intelligent princess and the Castilian king met in Toledo. His wife, the young queen Inés, had died, it was not extrange at medieval times, many women died while giving birth, but the king had a new wife. Zaída lived together with him at the court and shortly after, they had a child. So now is the time of the wedding between Zaida and Alfonso VI, because the succession of little Sancho needs to be legalized. From the wedding onwards, Zaída becomes queen Helisabeth. The king praises her abilities and names her most beloved, divine regina. Happiness of the couple do not last long, Zaída dies very young, around the year 1100, as a consequence of a childbirth, following the same fate as the other wives of Alfonso VI. Zaída-Helisabeth will be buried at Sahún and two centuries later her mortal remains will be moved to San Isidoro de León.