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Valdemar of Sweden

"Valdemar of Sweden" redirects here. For other uses, see Valdemar of Sweden (disambiguation).
King Waldemar in Skara Cathedral
King of Sweden
Reign 1250-1275
Predecessor Erik XI
Successor Magnus III
Spouse Sofia of Denmark
Ingeborg, Countess of Holstein
Erik Valdemarsson of Sweden
Marina, Countess of Diepholz
Richeza, Queen of Poland
Katarina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden
Margareta Valdemarsdotter of Sweden
House House of Bjelbo
Father Birger Jarl
Mother Ingeborg Eriksdotter of Sweden
Born 1239
Died 26 December 1302 (aged 62–63)

Valdemar (English: Waldemar; Swedish: Valdemar Birgersson; 1239 – 26 December 1302), was King of Sweden from 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 had in fact been the de facto ruler of Sweden from 1248, before the reign of Valdemar, under King Eric XI of Sweden. Valdemar's mother was a daughter of King Eric X of Sweden and Princess Richeza 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 sister-in-law 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 (died 1286) in 1260 and they separated in 1277. They had six children:

  1. Ingeborg Valdemarsdotter of Sweden, Countess of Holstein; spouse of Gerhard II, Count of Holstein-Plön.
  2. Erik Valdemarsson of Sweden (1272–1330)
  3. Marina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden; spouse of Rudolf, Count of Diepholz
  4. Richeza Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (died c. 1292); spouse of Przemysł II of Poland
  5. Katarina Valdemarsdotter of Sweden (died 1283)
  6. Margareta Valdemarsdotter of Sweden, a nun.



  • Adolfsson, Mats När borgarna brann - svenska uppror (Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 2007)
  • Larsson, Mats G. Götarnas Riken : Upptäcktsfärder Till Sveriges Enande (Bokförlaget Atlantis AB. 2002) ISBN 978-91-7486-641-4
  • Kyhlberg, Ola Gånget ut min hand (Riddarholmskyrkans stiftargravar Kungl. Vitterhets Historie och Antikvitets Akademien, Stockholm: 1997)
  • Schück, Herman Kyrka och rike - från folkungatid till vasatid (Stockholm: 2005)
Valdemar Birgersson
Born: 1239 Died: December 26 1302
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Eric XI
King of Sweden
Succeeded by
Magnus III
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