Located in the middle of the foothills of the Pyrenees, in a rounded valley in Navarre, Pamplona alternated between self-rule, Visigoth domination, and Frankish suzerainty throughout the 9th Century. Expanding and contracting in cycles as well, the ruler of the Kingdom of Pamplona, Garcia Iniguez, allied his land with Christian Asturias to fend off the Moorish threat. It didn't do him much good against the Vikings, however, who captured the king in 859 (or so) and returned him only for a hefty ransom (according to legend, some 70 thousand gold dinars). The historian Ann Christys makes a strong case, however, that this whole episode is unsupported by records and probably apocryphal. As for Pamplona, the kingdom was eventually saved for Christianity when the freed king Garcia and his new friend Ordono I of Asturias together defeated Musa ibn Musa and a Cordoban army at the battle of Albelda.