Depiction of King Stephen and Queen Giselle of Bavaria commemorating the foundation of the Church in Óbuda (14th century). Image Credit: WikiCommons.

During its history Hungary has belonged to various empires including the Roman, Visigothic, and Avar khaganate prior to the 10th century. The Magyars, or early Hungarians, migrated into the Carpathian Basin in the late ninth century and conquered the Basin at the beginning of the tenth century. Prince Géza of the Árpád dynasty was overlord of the seven Magyar tribes and aimed to unite them into Christian Europe. Hungary was established as an Apostolic kingdom in 1000, and faced off several conflicts during the medieval period, particularly from the Mongols and Ottomans. The fifteenth-century king Matthias Corvinus died without an heir in 1490, leading to the throne passing to the king Vladislaus II of Bohemia, and was followed by further internal conflict and external pressures from the Ottomans. Hungary was divided into three kingdoms and only began to reunite towards the end of the seventeenth century. Hungary declared itself a republic after seceding from the Austrian Empire in 1849.

There are many famous female rulers who came from Hungary and married into Western and Central European families, however the queens of Hungary themselves are not as well known as their Western counterparts. You can find out more about some of these women below!


Bak, János M. “Queens as Scapegoats in Medieval Hungary.” In Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe, edited by Anne Duggan, 223-234. Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1997

Kosior, Katarzyna. Becoming a Queen in Early Modern Europe: East and West. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2019

Macek, Josef: Tři ženy krále Vladislava (The Three Wives of King Vladislaus). Prague: Mladá fronta, 1991

Mielke, Christopher. “Lifestyles of the Rich and (In?)Animate: Object Biography and the Reliquary Cross of Queen Adelaide of Hungary.” In Queenship, Gender, and Reputation in the Medieval and Early Modern West, 1060-1600, 3-27. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016

Mielke, Christopher. The Archaeology and Material Culture of Queenship in Medieval Hungary, 1000-1395. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021

Nagy, Balázs, and Marcell Sebők, eds. The Man of Many Devices, Who Wandered Full Many Ways: Festschrift in Honor of János M. Bak. Budapest: CEU Press, 1999

O’Leary, Jessica. “Wife, Widow, Exiled Queen,” In Women on the Edge in Early Modern Europe, edited by Lisa Hopkins and Aidan Norrie, 139-158. Leeds: Amsterdam University Press, 2019

Pálffy, Géza. Hungary between Two Empires 1526-1711. Translated by David Robert Evans. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2021

Schwartz, Agatha, ed. Gender and Modernity in Central Europe. The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and Its Legacy. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 2010

Zsoldos, Attila. The Árpáds and Their Wives: Queenship in Early Medieval Hungary 1000-1301. Rome: Viella, 2019.

%d bloggers like this: