On This Day

Christian II

King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway Christian II

Profession: King of Denmark, Sweden and Norway

Why Famous: The reign of the Scandinavian King Christian II was marked by conflict with nobility class, reflecting some of the changes under way in Europe as the Medieval feudal world gave way to the Renaissance with its rising merchant classes.

Inheriting the crown from his father King Hans (John), Christian became king of Denmark and Norway in 1513. He attempted to invade Sweden from 1517, successfully laying siege to Stockholm in 1520 which then surrendered. After promising Swedish nobles who fought against him impunity, he had them slaughtered at the infamous 'Stockholm Bloodbath', executing eighty-two nobles at Stockholm Castle.

Instead of securing his control over Sweden, Christian II rapidly lost support, Swedish nobles rebelled, and went on to elect Gustav Vasa (later Gustav I) king.

Christian tried to implement land and trade reforms to favour the middle and peasant classes in Denmark, leading to a revolt by Danish nobles against him. Christian was eventually forced into exile in the Netherlands in 1523. Despite attempts to reclaim his kingdom, Christian remained imprisoned for most of his life until his death in 1559.

Christian is also remembered for the love affair he continued with a Norwegian girl of Dutch merchant heritage, Dyveke Sigbritsdatter and for the influence of her mother Sigbrit Willoms at court.

Born: July 1, 1481
Birthplace: Nyborg Castle, Denmark
Star Sign: Cancer

Died: January 25, 1559 (aged 77)

Married Life

  • 1515-08-15 King Christian II of Denmark marriage ratified to Isabella of Austria, granddaughter to Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I at Copenhagen Castle (married by proxy 1514)

Historical Events

  • 1513-01-20 Christian II succeeds Johan I as Danish and Norwegian king
  • 1520-01-18 Christian II of Denmark & Norway defeats Swedes at Lake Asunde
  • 1520-11-04 Danish Norwegian king Christian II crowned King of Sweden
  • 1520-11-09 Height of the Stockholm Bloodbath - King Christian II of Denmark, Norway and Sweden executes Swedish nobles
  • 1523-01-20 Christian II is forced to abdicate as King of Denmark and Norway

Famous Kings