Violant of Hungary

For the Polish queen, see Jolenta of Poland.
Violant of Hungary
Queen consort of Aragon

Tomb of Violant of Hungary
Tenure 1235–1251
Born c. 1215
Died 1251 (aged 36)?
Burial Monastery of Santa Maria de Vallbona, province of Lleida
Spouse James I of Aragon
Issue Yolanda, Queen of Castile
Constance, Infanta of Castile
Peter III of Aragon
James II of Majorca
Isabella, Queen of France
House House of Arpad
House of Aragon
Father Andrew II of Hungary
Mother Yolanda de Courtenay

Violant of Hungary (c. 1215–1251) was a Queen consort of Aragon and the second wife of King James I of Aragon. She is also called Jolánta in Hungarian, Iolanda or Violant d'Hongria in Catalan and Yolanda or Violante de Hungría in Spanish.


Violant was born at Esztergom circa 1215, the only child of King Andrew II of Hungary and his second wife Yolanda of Courtenay.[1]


Violant married James in 1235. James had already been married to Eleanor of Castile, but he had this marriage annulled on the basis of consanguinity in 1229. He and Eleanor had a son named Alfonso, who was considered legitimate, but who died prior to his father.

James and Violant had ten children:

  1. Violant of Aragon[2] (1236–1301), Queen of Castile by her marriage to Alfonso X of Castile
  2. Constance of Aragon, Lady of Villena (1239-1269)
  3. Peter III of Aragon (1240–1285)
  4. James II of Majorca (1243–1311)
  5. Ferdinand of Aragon (1245–1250)
  6. Sancha of Aragon (1246–1251)
  7. Isabella of Aragon (1247–1271), Queen of France by her marriage to Philip III of France
  8. Maria of Aragon (1248–1267), nun
  9. Sancho of Aragon (1250–1275), Archbishop of Toledo[3]
  10. Eleanor of Aragon (born 1251, date of death unknown; died young)

Violant was the grandmother of King Philip IV of France and Charles, Count of Valois through her daughter Isabella. Charles was the father of Philip VI of France.

Public Activity

Violant was a woman of talent and character. Next to James I, she had an important political role in the Crown of Aragon. She was one of the most valuable advisors of the king, on whom she had a strong influence.

She intervened decisively in international agreements as important as the Treaty of Almizra with Castile (1244). It was signed with the condition that Zayyan ibn Mardanish surrender of the city of Valencia, into which she triumphantly entered with her husband on 9 October 1238.

Death and burial

Violant reportedly died in 1251,[4] although there is some doubt about the exact year. Jerónimo Zurita, in his Anales de Aragon, mentions this discrepancy, and writes that while some annals state that Violant died in Santa María de Salas in 1251, others report that she lived for a few years after (the probable sources of the 1253 date), and that she only made her will and testament in Huesca in 1251.[5] Zurita continues that her will stipulated her burial at Vallbona, bequeathed the county of Posana (Pozsony) to her sons Peter, James, and Sancho (Pozsony being in the possession of her half-brother Béla IV of Hungary, but apparently left to her by her mother Queen Yolanda), and mentioned that she had 5 daughters with the king.

Violant and her daughter Sancha's remains are at the Monastery of Santa Maria de Vallbona in Vallbona de les Monges, Catalonia. Violant chose burial in that monastery as she was a benefactor. Her tomb, placed along the wall on the right of the chancel, is fairly simple. It is raised on two pillars decorated with individual gold crosses inscribed in red (gules) circles, and has a gabled lid of white stone. In the center of the lid is a cross with the same characteristics as those on the pillars, but larger and without color. The only ornamentations on the box itself are three depictions of her husband's royal coat of arms - one on the visible side and one at each end. The Queen's remains were moved to the tomb in 1275, as indicated by the inscription on the visible side of the box: Fuit translata donna | Violán regina | Aragonum | anno 1275. In 2002, the Hungarian government financed a restoration of her tomb, costing 12,000 euros, but the monastic community denied permission to study its interior. Violant is the only member of the Árpád dynasty whose remains are undisturbed.

James I remarried one more time, to Teresa Gil de Vidaure, who was previously his mistress.



Since the nineteenth century, streets have been dedicated to Violant in Barcelona, Zaragoza, and other cities in the counties and kingdoms of the former Crown of Aragon.

The 9th of October is the national day of the Valencian community, which commemorates the Christian reconquest and the day on which James I and Violant entered the city. The celebration is known as the Mocadorada of Sant Dionís, since 9 October is the feast day of Saint Denis of Paris. Men typically give their partners a scarf (mocador) containing candied fruits and vegetables made of marzipan; these candies represent the fruits and vegetables that Valencian Muslims offered James and Violant when they entered the city, according to legend.


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Violant of Hungary.
  1. Reassessing the Roles of Women as 'Makers' of Medieval Art and Architecture, ed. Theresa Martin, (Brill, 2012), 1089.
  2. Ricardo del Arco y Garay: Sepulcros de la Casa Real de Aragón
  3. Ximénez de Embún y Val, Tomás. (1876). Historia de la Corona de Aragón: (le más antigua de que se tiene noticia) conocida generalmente con el nombre de Crónica de San Juan de la Peña: Part aragonesa. p.148-149. Accessed on 14 April 2014 (in Spanish)
  4. Thalamus de Montpellier
  5. Zurita, Jerónimo. Anales de Aragon.
Violant of Hungary
Born: circa 1215 Died: 12 October 1251
Royal titles
Preceded by
Eleanor of Castile
Queen consort of Aragon
Succeeded by
Constance of Sicily
New title Queen consort of Majorca
Succeeded by
Esclaramunda of Foix
Queen consort of Valencia
Succeeded by
Constance of Sicily
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