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  • Writer's pictureGeorge Castrioti

March 1st, 1476 - The Battle of Toro

Conflict: Castilian Civil War

Combatants: Castilian Rebels/Portuguese vs. Spanish

Location: Spain

Outcome: Spanish victory

When the Henry IV of Castile died in 1474, his sister, Isabella, was designated to succeed him. But this claim was disputed by Queen Juanna (or Joan) of Portugal who sought to place her daughter, also named Juanna, on the throne. Alfonso V of Portugal, husband to the younger Juanna, and some Spanish nobles threw their support behind the Portuguese claim.

Batalla de Toro (cropped) by Francisco de Paula van Halen

In the spring of 1476, Alfonso led 8,000 soldiers to the Spanish town of Toro. Meanwhile, Isabella's husband, Ferdinand of Aragon, raised his own army and marched on the Portuguese and rebel army. Ferdinand's forces routed the opposing army after a two-hour battle. With the Portuguese defeated, Ferdinand and Isabella quickly overcame the remaining rebels in Castile.

The hero Duarte de Almeida holds the Portuguese royal standard during the Battle of Toro (1476), even though his hands have been cut off by Jose Bastos

Points of Interest:

  • The elder Queen Juanna of Portugal died shortly after declaring her daughter's claim to the Castilian crown (1475) and did not witness the civil war.

  • In the years after the Castilian Civil War, Ferdinand would ascend the throne of Aragon (as Ferdinand II), and unify Aragon and Castile.

Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504), queen of Castile and León by Peter de Hooch
Joanna of Castile, Queen of Portugal by an unknown artist



Dupuy, Trevor N., Johnson, Curt, & Bongard, David L. (1992). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military Biography. New York: Castle Books (HarperCollins).

Dupuy, R. Ernest & Dupuy, Trevor N. (1993). The Harper's Encyclopedia of Military History. New York: HarperCollins.

Eggenberger, David (1985). An Encyclopedia of Battles: Accounts of Over 1,560 Battles from 1479 B.C. to the Present. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

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