Friday, February 5, 2010

Princess Ingegärd Olofsdotter of Sweden

Princess Ingegärd Olofsdotter of Sweden (1001–1050) was a Swedish princess and a Grand Princess of Kiev, the daughter of Swedish King Olof Skötkonung and Estrid of the Obotrites and the consort of Yaroslav I the Wise of Kiev. Princess Ingegärd was born in Sigtuna, Sweden, and was engaged to be married to Norwegian King Olaf II, but when Sweden and Norway got into a feud, Swedish King Olof Skötkonung wouldn't allow for the marriage to happen. Instead, Ingegärd's father quickly arranged for a marriage to the powerful Yaroslav I the Wise of Novgorod. The marriage took place in 1019. Once in Kiev, her name was changed to the Greek Irene. According to several sagas, she was given as a marriage gift lake Ladoga and adjacent lands, which later received the name Ingria (arguably a corruption of Ingegerd's name). She set her friend jarl Ragnvald Ulfsson to rule in her stead. Ingegärd initiated the building of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev that was supervised by her husband, who styled himself tsar. Ingegärd had the following children:
Elisiv of Kiev, queen of Norway
Anastasia of Kiev, queen of Hungary
Anne of Kiev, queen of France
(Disputed) Agatha, wife of Edward the Exile
Vladimir of Novgorod
Igor of Volynia
Vyacheslav of Smolensk.

On the attached photo you can see 11th-century fresco of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev representing the daughters of Ingegärd Olofsdotter of Sweden and Yaroslav I, with Anna probably being the youngest (1), Yaroslav I the Wise’s forensic facial reconstruction (2) and his sarcophagus in St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev (3).