Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden

Ingegerd Olofsdotter
Grand Princess consort of Kievan Rus'
Grand Princess consort of Kievan Rus'
Tenure 1019–1050
Born 1001
Sigtuna, Sweden
Died 10 February 1050 (aged 48/49)
Burial Saint Sophia's Cathedral, Kiev or Cathedral of St. Sophia, Novgorod
Spouse Yaroslav I the Wise of Kiev
Issue Elisiv, Queen consort of Norway
Anastasia, Queen consort of Hungary
Anne, Queen consort of France
Agatha, wife of Edward the Exile
Vladimir of Novgorod
Iziaslav I
Sviatoslav II
Vsevolod I
Igor Yaroslavich
House House of Munsö
Father Olof Skötkonung
Mother Estrid of the Obotrites

Ingegerd Olofsdotter of Sweden, also known as Irene, Anna and St. Anna (1001  10 February 1050), was a Swedish princess and a Grand Princess of Kiev. She was the daughter of Swedish King Olof Skötkonung and Estrid of the Obotrites and the consort of Yaroslav I the Wise of Kiev.

Ingegerd or St. Anna is often confused with the mother of St. Vladimir “the Enlightener” of the Rus. This is mainly because Ingegerd and Yaroslav also had a son named Vladimir. However, St. Vladimir was actually the father of Ingegerd’s husband Yaroslav I “the Wise”, thus making her St. Vladimir’s daughter-in-law. St. Vladimir is actually the son of Sviatoslav and Malusha.


11th-century fresco of the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev representing the daughters of Ingegerd and Yaroslav I, with Anna probably being the youngest. Other daughters were Anastasia wife of Andrew I of Hungary, Elizabeth wife of Harald III of Norway, and Agatha wife of Edward the Exile.

Ingegerd was born in Sigtuna, Sweden. She was engaged to be married to Norwegian King Olaf II, but when Sweden and Norway got into a feud, Swedish King Olof Skötkonung would no longer allow for the marriage to take place.

Instead, Ingegerd's father quickly arranged for a marriage to the powerful Yaroslav I the Wise of Novgorod.[1] The marriage took place in 1019.[1] Once in Kiev, she changed her name to the Greek Irene. According to several sagas, she was given as a marriage gift Ladoga and adjacent lands, which later received the name Ingria, arguably a corruption of Ingegerd's name. She placed her friend, jarl Ragnvald Ulfsson, to rule in her stead.

Ingegerd initiated the building of the Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev that was supervised by her husband, who styled himself tsar. She also initiated the construction of the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Novgorod. They had six sons and four daughters, the latter of whom became Queens of France, Hungary, Norway, and (arguably) England. The whole family is depicted in one of the frescoes of the Saint Sophia.

Death and burial

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.


Ingegerd was later declared a saint, by the name of St. Anna, in Novgorod and Kiev. The reason was that she initiated the building of the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Kiev as well as the local version, the Saint Sophia Cathedral in Novgorod, along with many good doings.

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 Kiev, 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, Edwin 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 Kiev, having been tonsured a monastic with the name of Anna.

As saint her, 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.


Ingegerd had the following children


  1. 1 2 Yaroslav the Wise in Norse Tradition, Samuel Hazzard Cross, Speculum, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Apr., 1929), 181.


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