Valdemar, King of Sweden

King Waldemar in Skara Cathedral
Seal of Valdemar Birgersson
Monument to the Battle of Hova

Valdemar, English also Waldemar; Swedish: Valdemar Birgersson (1239–1302), was King of Sweden 1250–1275.


Valdemar was the son of princess Ingeborg Eriksdotter of Sweden and Birger jarl, from the House of Bjelbo. During the first sixteen years of his reign, it was Birger Jarl who was the real ruler. Birger Jarl more or less also ruled Sweden from 1248 under King Eric XI of Sweden. Valdemar's mother was a daughter of King Eric X of Sweden and Queen Richeza of Denmark, a Royal Princess of Denmark.

When King Eric XI died in 1250, Valdemar was elected king. Even after the coming of age of Valdemar in 1257, Birger jarl held a grip over the country. After Birger's death in 1266 Valdemar came into conflict with his younger brother Magnus Birgersson, Duke of Södermanland, who wanted the throne for himself.

In 1260, Valdemar married Sofia of Denmark the eldest daughter of King Eric IV of Denmark and Jutta of Saxony. Valdemar also had a relationship with his queen's sister Jutta of Denmark. In 1272, Jutta visited Sweden and became Valdemar's mistress. The affair resulted in a child born in 1273. The following year, Jutta was placed in a convent and Valdemar was forced to make a pilgrimage to Rome to ask for the absolution of the Pope.

Valdemar was deposed by his younger brother, Magnus after the Battle of Hova in Tiveden June 14, 1275. Magnus was supported by his brother, Eric Birgersson, Duke of Småland and King Eric V of Denmark who provided Danish soldiers. Magnus was elected King Magnus III of Sweden at the Stones of Mora.

In 1277, Sophia separated from her spouse and returned to Denmark. In 1277, Valdemar managed to regain provinces in Gothenland in the southern part of the kingdom and was called the Duke of Götaland. However, Magnus regained them about 1278. In 1288 Valdemar was imprisoned by King Magnus in Nyköping Castle (Nyköpingshus) and lived openly with mistresses in his comfortable prison.


Valdemar married Sofia of Denmark (d. 1286) in 1260 and separated in 1277. He had six children:

  1. Ingeborg Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (1263–1292), countess of Holstein, spouse of Gerhard II of Holstein.
  2. Erik Valdemarsson of Sweden(1272–1330)
  3. Marina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden, spouse of Count Rudolf of Diepholz
  4. Rikissa Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (d. c. 1292), Queen of Poland, spouse of Przemysł II of Poland
  5. Katarina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (d. 1283)
  6. Margareta Valdemarsdotter of Sweden, a nun.



Valdemar Birgersson
Born: 1239 Died: December 26 1302
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Erik Eriksson
King of Sweden
Succeeded by
Magnus Ladulås

Most of Wikipedia's text and many of its images are licensed under the
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (CC BY-SA)

Return to Main Index