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Christina of Saxony

Christina of Saxony

Saxon princess who became Queen consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
The basics
Quick Facts
Intro Saxon princess who became Queen consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
A.K.A. Christina van Saksen (1461-1521)
Countries Germany
Occupations Lady-in-waiting
Gender female
Birth 1461 (Torgau)
Death 1521 (Odense)
Mother: Elisabeth of Bavaria, Electress of Saxony
Father: Ernest, Elector of Saxony
Siblings: Ernst II of SaxonyAdalbert of SaxonyJohn, Elector of Saxony Margaret of SaxonyDuchess of Brunswick-LüneburgFrederick III
Spouse: John, King of Denmark
Children: Christian II of DenmarkElizabeth of Denmark, Electress of BrandenburgFrancis of Denmark
The details

Christina of Saxony (b. Torgau, 25 December 1461 – d. Odense, 8 December 1521), was Queen consort of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. She was born a granddaughter of Frederick the Gentle of Saxony, and daughter of Ernest, Elector of Saxony and Elisabeth of Bavaria. She was the grandmother of Christina of Denmark through her son Christian II.


Early life

Christina was engaged to John, King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, in 1477. The year after, she traveled from Saxony to Warnemunde, where she was met by a Danish retinue who brought her Copenhagen Castle, where she was married to John on 6 September 1478. The wedding is described as magnificent, with possessions of a knights and the bride, dressed in gold embroidered red, travelling in a carriage of gold.

In 1481, she became queen of Denmark. She was however not crowned until 1483, when John had become king of Norway also. On 18 May 1483, she and John were crowned king and queen of Denmark and Norway in the Frue Kirke in Copenhagen.

During the first twenty years of her marriage, there is not much information about Christina, and she seem to have lived a life devoted to her family. She was the mother of Christian II, Franciscus, Knud and Elizabeth, who later married Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg, and (probably) also of Jacob the Dacian. The royal couple did not live much in Copenhagen, but preferred to travel between the royal castles in Funen, where Nykobing Castle where reportedly the favorite residence of Christina. There is nothing do indicate that she ever involved herself in politics during her life in Denmark as its queen.

Christina is described as pious, and were said to weep every time she was unable to attend mass. In 1497, she and John founded the St. Clare's Monastery, Copenhagen.


In 1497, John was elected king of Sweden. Two years later, Christina followed him to Sweden, and on 4 February 1499, they were crowned king and queen of Sweden in Uppsala. She accompanied John on his second visit to Sweden in 1500, and his third in January 1501. During the 1501 visit, John entered into his love affair with one of her ladies-in-waiting, Edel Jernskjæg, which attracted a scandal and caused a de facto termination of her marriage.

The stay in the Swedish capital was dominated by the king's suspicions toward the Swedes, who were known to be hostile to the Kalmar Union; when the queen announced that she intended to attend mass at the Storkyrkan in the city, the king refused to allow her until she begged him crying, and when the queen and her ladies-in-waiting where observed to return with a crowd of Swedes, the king's guards aimed fire at them in the belief that they had taken the queen hostage, when in fact they had just wished to escort her back to the castle as a way of honoring her.

When the War of Deposition against King Hans and Dano-Swedish War (1501–1512) took place later that same year, John left Sweden for Denmark in August 1501 in the company of Edel Jernskjæg. He left Christina, who was at that time to ill to travel, in charge of the garrison of the Castle of Tre Kronor in Stockholm as regent and as moral support for his followers.

From September 1501 until 6 May 1502, Queen Christina was besieged by the Swedish rebels. This was one of the hardest sieges known during the Kalmar Union, during which a garrison of 1000 men was reduced to 70 out of plague and starvation.

On 9 May 1502, Queen Christina surrendered to the Swedish Regent Sten Sture the Elder. According to the peace settlement, was to be kept at a convent in Stockholm until she could travel back to Denmark. When she surrendered her position, she turned herself over to lady Ingeborg Tott, who met her at the castle and followed her to a convent.

She was kept first at the Black Friars' Monastery of Stockholm and then at the Grey Friar's Abbey, Stockholm. However, the treaty was broken by Sten Sture: when John had a ship sent to Stockholm to collect her, the regent had her taken from Stockholm to the Vadstena Abbey in a form of captivity. In October 1503, she was finally released and escorted to the Danish border by Sten Sture, where she was met by her son Christian in Halmstad.

Later life

In 1504, she made a pilgrimage to Wilsnack and Sternberg in Brandenburg, where she also met her daughter Elizabeth. Upon her return to Denmark, she founded convents for Poor Clares in Copenhagen and Odense.

From her return to Denmark after her release onward, Queen Christina lived the rest of her life separated from King John. She had her own separate court, headed by Anne Meinstrup, and resided on her dower lands at Næsbyhoved Slot and in Odense with her son Frans. She hosted a grand court with many guests, but the visits from the king was almost non existent.

Christina was interested in art and music and acted as the benefactor of musicians, writers and painters. She commissioned the famous altar piece of Claus Berg, who depicted the royal Danish family and was placed in the Odense cathedral, as well as the literary work of the priest Michael of Odense. She was a critical Catholic, who wished for a reformation of the Catholic church, and the benefactor of the order of Saint Clare and Saint Francis, and supported Laurids Brandsen, who worked to reform the discipline of the Danish convents. She was also known for her philanthropy.

In 1513, she was widowed.

Christina of Saxony died on 8 December 1521, aged 59.


Christina and John had five or six children:

Name Birth Death Notes
Hans 1479 1480 died as a child
Ernst 1480 1500 died as a child
Christian II 1 July 1481 25 January 1559 King of Denmark, Norway and Sweden. Had issue.
Jacob 1484 1566 Disputed; Possibly identical to Jacob the Dacian
Elizabeth 24 June 1485 10 June 1555 Married Joachim I Nestor, Elector of Brandenburg in 1502. Had issue.
Francis 15 July 1497 1 April 1511


The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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