Written for The Viking Network by Eduardo Morales
The first written mention of a Viking attack to Spain can be found in the “Annales Bertiniani”, one of whose authors was the Spanish Prudencio, the Bishop of Troyes; he reports that in the Spring of the year 844, the Vikings, after sailing the river Gironde/Garonne up to Toulouse, came back to the Atlantic Ocean and made their way to a country called Galicia; afterwards they reached Spanish lands, occupied by the Saracens, whom they fought until they were defeated.
This fact is confirmed by the “Crónica Albedense” (“Albedense Chronicle”), that, referring to the kingdom of Ramiro I (842-850), reports the first arrival of the Vikings in Asturias.
More precise is the “Chronicon Sebastiani”, which says that the city of Gijón, on the coast of Asturias, was the first Spanish landfall of the vikings, who after that went towards Galicia; they fought king Ramiro’s troops and, after being defeated, continued their way to the South, occupied the city of Cádiz and sailed the river Guadalquivir up to Sevilla, which was conquered and plundered. The emir Abd al-Rhaman II (822-852) sent his troops against them and, after inflicting many casualties, ejected them.
English version by David Losada