Monument to Princess Kristina of Norway – Covarrubias, Spain - Atlas Obscura

Monument to Princess Kristina of Norway

Covarrubias, Spain

Princess Kristina played a pivotal role in fostering diplomatic ties between two kingdoms, Norway and Spain.  

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Princess Kristina of Norway, born in 1234, was the daughter of King Haakon IV. She was known for her intelligence and grace. Her marriage to Prince Felipe of Spain was arranged to strengthen the alliances between their kingdoms.

Due to the Castilian and Norwegian alliances within the Holy Roman Empire, Kristina undertook a long journey in the summer of 1257, accompanied by the ambassador Looinn Leppur and a retinue of more than 100 people. A journey that took her to the Castilian lands to marry Infante Felipe, the brother of King Alfonso X the Wise.

Despite initial reservations due to cultural differences, Kristina adapted to Spanish court life and promoted diplomacy and cultural exchange.

However, her health deteriorated, probably due to complications during childbirth or tuberculosis. Tragically, she died in 1262, leaving behind a legacy that linked Nordic and Iberian culture, although her early death saddened both empires.

Her body, which was never returned to Norway, rests in a beautiful Gothic stone tomb in the cloister of the former collegiate church of Saint Cosme and Saint Damian.

As a tribute to her memory, a bronze statue of the Princess, created by the Norwegian artist Brit Sorensen, was erected in 1978. The statue, gifted by the town of Tonsberg (Norway) to the municipality of Covarrubias, commemorates her legacy.

Know Before You Go

The statue is a donation to the town of Covarrubias on the occasion of the millennium of its infantry in 1978 by the city of Tonsberg and it is located across from the main entrance to the former collegiate church of Saint Cosme and Saint Damian.

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