Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden

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Ingegerd Olofsdotter
Grand Princess consort of Kievan Rus'
Died10 February 1050 (aged 48/49)
SpouseYaroslav I the Wise of Kiev
IssueElisiv, Queen consort of Norway
Anastasia, Queen consort of Hungary
Anne, Queen consort of France
Vladimir of Novgorod
Iziaslav I
Sviatoslav II
Vsevolod I
Igor Yaroslavich
perhaps Agatha, wife of Edward the Exile
FatherOlof Skötkonung
MotherEstrid of the Obotrites

Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden, also known as Irene, Anna and Saint Anna (1001 – 10 February 1050), was a Swedish princess and a Grand Princess of Kyiv. She was the daughter of Swedish King Olof Skötkonung and Estrid of the Obotrites and the consort of Yaroslav I the Wise of Kyiv. She is venerated as a saint in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Ingegerd or Saint Anna is often confused with the mother of Saint Vladimir “the Enlightener” of the Rus. This is mainly because Ingegerd and Yaroslav also had a son named Vladimir. However, Saint Vladimir was the father of Ingegerd’s husband Yaroslav I “the Wise”, thus making her Saint Vladimir’s daughter-in-law. Saint Vladimir was the son of Sviatoslav and Malusha.[1]


Ingegerd was born a princess in the court of King Olof Skötkonung. In 1015, after Olaf II of Norway assumed the throne as King of Norway, he proposed a royal marriage alliance. In 1016, noblemen of both countries tried to arrange a marriage between King Olaf and Princess Ingegerd. Olof Skötkonung agreed at first but later he reneged. Rather he agreed to the marriage of his daughter, Astrid Olavsdatter to King Olaf. [2][3][4]

Olof Skötkonung subsequently arranged for the marriage of Princess Ingegerd to the powerful Grand Prince Yaroslav I the Wise of Novgorod with whom Sweden had a flourishing trade relationship. The marriage took place in 1019. [5]

Once in Kiev, Ingegerd had her name changed to the Greek Irene. According to several sagas, she received as a marriage gift Ladoga and adjacent lands, which later became known as Ingria, arguably a corruption of Ingegerd's name. She arranged for her father's cousin, jarl Ragnvald Ulfsson, to rule in her stead.[6][7]

Together Ingegerd and Yaroslav had six sons and four daughters; three of the latter becoming Queens of France, Hungary, and Norway. The whole family is depicted in one of the frescoes of the Saint Sophia.

Death and burial[edit]

Ingegerd died on 10 February 1050. Upon her death, according to different sources, Ingegerd was buried in either Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kyiv or Cathedral of St. Sophia in Novgorod.


Yaroslav the Wise and Swedish princess Ingigerd. An anachronistic portrait by Alexei Ivanovich Trankovskyi, end of the 19th c.

Ingegerd initiated the building of the Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev (foundation laid in 1037). She also initiated the construction of Cathedral of St. Sophia in Novgorod (built between 1045 and 1050). Ingegerd was later declared a saint under the name of St. Anna in Novgorod and Kiev. The reason for her sainthood was that she initiated the building of both cathedrals in Kyiv and in Novgorod together with many other good deeds.

The following was stated by the church in reference to her sainthood:

St. Anna, Grand Duchess of Novgorod, She was the daughter of Swedish King Olaf Sketktung, the "All-Christian King," who did much to spread Orthodoxy in Scandinavia, and the pious Queen Astrida.

In Sweden she was known as Princess Indegard; she married Yaroslav I “the Wise“, Grand Prince of Kyiv, who was the founder of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in 1016, taking the name Irene.

She gave shelter to the outcast sons of British King Edmund, Edmund and Edward, as well as the Norwegian prince Magnus, who later returned to Norway.

She is perhaps best known as the mother of Vsevolod of , himself the father of Vladimir Monomakh and progenitor of the Princes of Moscow.

Her daughters were Anna, Queen of France, Queen Anastasia of Hungary, and Queen Elizabeth (Elisiv) of Norway. The whole family was profoundly devout and pious.

She reposed in 1050 in the Cathedral of Holy Wisdom (St. Sophia) in Kyiv, having been tonsured a monastic with the name of Anna.

As saint, her hymn goes:

And 4 stichera, in Tone I: Spec. Mel.: Joy of the ranks of heaven

O joy of the Swedish people, thou didst gladden the Russian realm, filling it with grace and purity, adorning its throne with majesty, lustrous in piety like a priceless gem set in a splendid royal crown.

Named Ingegerd in the baptismal waters, O venerable one, thou wast called Irene by thy Russian subjects, who perceived in thee the divine and ineffable peace; but when thou didst submit to monastic obedience, thou didst take the new name, Anna, after the honoured ancestor of Christ, the King of kings.

Wed in honourable matrimony, O holy Anna, thou didst live in concord with thy royal spouse, the right-believing and most wise Prince Yaroslav; and having born him holy offspring, after his repose thou didst betroth thyself unto the Lord as thy heavenly Bridegroom.

Disdaining all the allurements of vanity and donning the coarse robes of a monastic, O wondrous and sacred Anna, thou gavest thyself over to fasting and prayer, ever entreating Christ thy Master, that He deliver thy people from the all want and misfortune.

Feast days: 10 February, 4 October.


11th-century fresco of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev representing the daughters of Ingegerd and Yaroslav I. Anna wife of Henry I of France is probably the youngest, while other daughters are Anastasia wife of Andrew I of Hungary, Elizabeth wife of Harald III of Norway, and perhaps Agatha wife of Edward the Exile

Ingegerd had the following children:


  1. ^ Thomas Arentzen. "Hellige Anna Av Holmgard (1001 – 1050)". Kirkeside/NO. Archived from the original on June 19, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  2. ^ "Ingegärd – den heliga Anna av Novrograd". May 14, 2008. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  3. ^ Claus Krag (May 14, 2008). "Astrid Olavsdatter". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  4. ^ "Olav den Hellige - Norges evige konge". Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  5. ^ Samuel Hazzard Cross (April 1929). "Yaroslav the Wise in Norse Tradition". Speculum. 4: 181.
  6. ^ Sven H. Gullman (May 14, 2008). "Irina av Kiev och den heliga Anna av Novgorod". Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  7. ^ "Ragnvald Ulfsson". Nordisk familjebok. 1915. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Claus Krag. "Ellisiv, Dronning". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  9. ^ "Anne of Kiev". Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  10. ^ "Iziaslav Yaroslavych". Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  11. ^ "Sviatoslav II Yaroslavych". Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "Vsevolod Yaroslavych". Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Retrieved May 1, 2018.


  • Lars O. Lagerqvist (1982). "Sverige och dess regenter under 1.000 år" (in Swedish). Albert Bonniers Förlag AB. ISBN 91-0-075007-7.

External links[edit]

Royal titles
Unconfirmed predecessor
Title last held by
Anna Porphyrogeneta
Grand Princess consort of Kiev
Succeeded by