Saturday, December 10, 2005

Queen Berengaria of Denmark

Skt. Bendts Church, Ringsted

When queen Berengaria's grave was opened in 1885, they found her thick plait of hair, her finely formed skull and finely built body bones. A portrait drawing was made to show how she might have looked. Berengaria was a daughter of king Sancho I of Portugal and queen Aldonca and a descendant of Robert Capet. She was married on May 3rd 1214 to king Valdemar II Sejr of Denmark. She became the mother of three kings, but she died already on March 27th 1221 and was buried in Sankt Bendts Church in Ringsted, the burial place for the early Danish kings and queens.

Her three sons and a daughter with Valdemar:
Erik IV Plovpenning, born 1216 , king from 1241-1250; he was murdered by his brother Albert at Slien August 9th 1250. Erik was married to Jutta of Saxony.
Albert, born ab. 1218, king from 1250-1252, was killed in a battle against the Frisians at the peninsula Eiderstedt June 29th 1252. Married to Mechtilde of Holstein.
Christopher I, born 1219, king 1252-1259, died in Ribe May 29th 1259, possibly poisoned by alter wine. Married to Margrethe Sambiria of Pommern.
Sophie, who was married to Johan 1. of Brandenburg in 1236. She died November 2nd 1247.

Eleonora of Portugal, Berengaria's niece, was a daughter of Berengaria's brother, king Alfonso II el Pancudo and Urraca of Castile, she was married in 1231 to Valdemar the Young, Valdemar's son with his first queen, Dagmar of Bohemia. Eleonora was born in 1211 and died in childbirth August 28th 1231, her child died the same year. Valdemar the Young was killed by an accidental shot at Refsnæs November 28th 1231. Buried in Ringsted with Eleonora.

photo: grethe bachmann

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