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Fastrada (765–794) was an East Frankish noblewoman.

Fastrada (also spelled Fastrade) was born circa 765 at Ingelheim, Rheinhessen, Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, the daughter of the powerful Count Rudolph, an Austrasian count (also known as East Frankish Count Eadolf), and his wife Aeda of Bavaria (also known as Aleida von Bayern/Beieren).

Fastrada became the third wife of Charlemagne,[1] marrying him in October 783 at Worms, Germany, a few months after Queen Hildegard’s death. A probable reason behind the marriage was to solidify a Frankish alliance east of the Rhine when Charles was still fighting the Saxons. As wife of Charles I (Charlemagne), she became Queen of the Franks.

She bore him two children:

Fastrada died on 10 August 794 in Frankfurt, Germany, during the synod of Frankfurt and was buried in St. Alban's Abbey, Mainz, long before the abbey was finished. Due to Archbishop Richulf's influence, she was not buried in the Basilique Saint-Denis, the burial site of almost all the Frankish and French monarchs, nor St. Arnulf's Abbey near Metz. After the destruction of St. Alban's Abbey in 1552, her tombstone was transferred to Mainz Cathedral, where it can be seen today in the wall of the southern nave.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

Her stylized role was played by Leland Palmer in the musical Pippin (1972) by Stephen Schwartz, and by Charlotte d'Amboise in the revival of 2013.[3]


  1. ^ As described by historians such as Pierre Riché (The Carolingians, p.86.), Lewis Thorpe (Two Lives of Charlemagne, p.216) and others. Other historians list Himiltrude, described by Einhard as a concubine, as Charlemagne's first wife, and reorder his subsequent wives; accordingly Fastrada is sometimes numbered as his fourth wife. See Dieter Hägemann (Karl der Große. Herrscher des Abendlands, Ullstein 2003, p. 82f.), Collins (Charlemagne, p. 40.).
  2. ^ Franz Dumont, Ferdinand Scherf, Friedrich Schütz: Mainz - Die Geschichte der Stadt, Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1998
  3. ^ "Pippin 2013". Playbill. Retrieved June 2015. 
Preceded by
Queen of the Franks
Succeeded by