Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan

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Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan
Kunigunda Azzo.jpg
Alberto Azzo II and first wife Kunigunde
Born997 or 1009
Died(1097-08-20)August 20, 1097 (aged 87-88, 99-100)
Noble familyHouse of Este
Spouse(s)Kunigunde of Altdorf
Garsende of Maine
FatherAlbert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan
MotherAdela of Milan

Alberto Azzo II (997 or July 10, 1009, Modena – August 20, 1097, Modena), Margrave of Milan, and Liguria, Count of Gavello, Padua, Rovigo, Lunigiana, Monselice, and Montagnana, was a powerful nobleman in the Holy Roman Empire. He is considered the founder of Casa d'Este (House of Este), having been head of the first family to be master of Este, a town of Padua.[1]


Alberto Azzo II was the only son of Albert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan and Adela of Milan.[2] He inherited his father's offices around 1029, and continually increased his properties in northern Italy. Around 1073 he made a castle at Este his residence, from which the House of Este took its name. Before his building project, Este was little more than a village.

In the Investiture Controversy between Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and Pope Gregory VII, Azzo attempted to mediate,[3] but later he joined the side of the pope.

First marriage[edit]

Azzo II married Kunigunde (also called Chuniza), the daughter of Welf II, Count of Altdorf, in 1035/6.[4] Azzo's son with Chuniza, Welf, moved first to Carinthia and then to Bavaria, giving rise to one of the most important families in European history, the Guelphs.

Second marriage[edit]

Around 1050, Azzo married again, to Garsende, daughter of Herbert I, Count of Maine, around 1050. In 1069–1070, he tried to acquire Maine for his son Hugh, because his wife, Garsende, was a co-heiress of the previous counts of Maine.[5] Hugh was declared count, but he could not prevail against Robert, the Duke of Normandy, who had been betrothed to the last heiress. Another son from this marriage, Fulk I of Milan, made the first documented use of the title "Marquis d'Este."


Albert Azzo II's tomb at Vangadizza Abbey

With his first wife, Chuniza, Azzo had one known child:

  • Welf (died November 6, 1101, Paphos) Duke of Bavaria from 1070 to 1077 and from 1096 to his death who was the first member of the Welf branch of the House of Este.[6]

With his second wife, Garsende, Azzo had two known sons:

Some sources say he also married Vitalia Orseolo, daughter of Peter Orseolo. They had a daughter: Itta.

He had an extra-marital affair with, or perhaps married,[8] Matilda, sister of William/Guglielmo, Bishop of Pavia (r.1069-1102/3), with whom he had a daughter named Adelasia, who married Guglielmo Adelardi.[9]


Alberto Azzo II was extremely long-lived. He lived to at least his 90s[10] and was perhaps one hundred years old when he died. He died in August 1097 at the monastery of Vangadizza (Badia Polesine), where he was buried.[11]


  1. ^ "Henrici IV diplomata, no. 289 (1077), p. 377". Archived from the original on July 10, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  2. ^ Thiele, Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln, table 152.
  3. ^ Lampert of Hersfeld, Annales, a.1077, 290.
  4. ^ Thiele, Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln, table 152; Genealogia Welforum, p. 764 Archived July 11, 2018, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Actus Pontificum Cenomannis in urbe degentium, chap. XXXII, p.377.
  6. ^ Baaken, 'Herzog Welf VI,' p. 17.
  7. ^ Orderic Vitalis, Historia Ecclesiastica, VIII, cap. XI, col. 589.
  8. ^ Bresslau, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reiches, p. 421.
  9. ^ Chiantore 1964, p. 131.
  10. ^ "The Last Italian Expedition of Henry IV", Valerie Eads, Journal of Medieval Military History, Volume 8, editors Clifford J. Rogers, John France, Kelly DeVries, Boydell Press, 2010, 38
  11. ^ L.A. Muratori, Della antichità estensi, p. 316;Bernold, Chronicon, a.1097, p. 465 Archived July 10, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.


  • Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge (1833). The Penny Cyclopaedia of the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge. Volume 10 Ernesti – Frustum. London: Knight. p. 38. OCLC 455140714. Retrieved May 8, 2010. Oberto died about 1014, and was succeeded by his son, Alberto Azzo I, who in his turn was succeeded by his son Alberto Azzo or Albertazzo II |volume= has extra text (help)
  • Halliday, Andrew (1826). "BOOK III. CONTAINING A SKETCH OF THE HISTORY OF THE WESTERN EMPIRE UNDER THE SAXON AND FRANCONIAN DYNASTIES. WITH THE HISTORY OF THE ANCESTORS OF THE HOUSE OF HANOVER DURING THAT PERIOD". Annals of the house of Hanover. London: William Sams. pp. 137–138, 141, 148, 151, 155–156. OCLC 03031224. Retrieved May 8, 2010.
  • A. Thiele, Erzählende genealogische Stammtafeln zur europäischen Geschichte Band III Europäische Kaiser-, Königs- und Fürstenhäuser (R.G. Fischer Verlag, 1994).
  • Luciano Chiappini, Gli Estensi (Varese, 1988).
  • H. Bresslau, Jahrbücher des deutschen Reiches unter Konrad II. vol. 1 (Leipzig, 1879).
  • K. Baaken, 'Herzog Welf VI. und seine Zeit,' in Welf VI. Wissenschaftliches Kolloquium zum 800. Todestages Welfs VI. im Schwäbischen Bildungszentrum Irsee (Jan Thorbecke Verlag, Sigmaringen, 1991), pp. 2-29.
  • Chiantore, Giovanni (1964). "Le Iscrizioni Ferraresi Del 1135". Studi medievali (in Italian).

External links[edit]

Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan
Born: 997 or 1009 Died: 20 August 1097
Preceded by
Albert Azzo I
Margrave of Milan
c. 1029–1097
Succeeded by
Fulco I