Gisela of Hungary

Gisela of Hungary (or Gisele, Gizella and of Bavaria; 985 – 7 May 1065) was the first queen consort of Hungary by marriage to Stephen I of Hungary, and the sister of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor. She has been beatified by the Roman Catholic church.

Blessed Gisela
Portrayal of Gisela of Hungary on the coronation pall-2.jpg
Portrayal of Queen Gisela on the Hungarian coronation pall from 1031
Queen of Hungary
Tenure1000 or 1001–1038
Grand Princess of the Hungarians
Tenurec. 997 – 1000 or 1001
Bornc. 985
Died7 May 1065
Passau, Germany
SpouseStephen I of Hungary
Saint Emeric
DynastyÁrpád dynasty (by marriage)
Ottonian dynasty (by birth)
FatherHenry II, Duke of Bavaria
MotherGisela of Burgundy
ReligionRoman Catholic
King St Stephen and his wife
King Stephen and Queen blessed Gisela founding a church at Óbuda from the Chronicon Pictum


Gisela was a daughter of Henry II, Duke of Bavaria and Gisela of Burgundy. Gisela was raised very devout, most likely with bishop Wolfgang of Regensburg as her mentor and governor. She married King Stephen I of Hungary in 996[1] as a part of Hungary's policy of opening up to the West. The couple had a son, Saint Emeric, who died on 2 September 1031, while hunting boar.[2] The wedding of Stephen and Gisela marked a turning point in Hungary's history.

Queen Gisela played a fundamental role in spreading the Christian faith and Western culture in Hungary.[1]

When Edmund Ironside of England died, he was succeeded by Cnut. Edmund’s infant sons were sent abroad and ended up under the protection of King Stephen of Hungary. One of the twins died young, but the other, Edward Atheling, was brought up as a protégé of Queen Gisela, and regarded in that foreign court as the heir to the Anglo-Saxon throne.[3]

King Stephen died in 1038. In 1046 Gisela, her attendants, and a number of many Bavarian settlers left Hungary to return to Bavaria, where she joined Niederburg convent in Passau and became the abbess.[1]

She lived in the nunnery of Niedernburg in Passau, where she died.


Her canonisation was attempted in the 18th century but failed. She was declared Blessed in 1975. Her memorial days are May 7 and February 1.

Gisela and her husband were not buried together. On May 4, 1996, the remains of King Stephen’s right hand was preserved, and it was brought back together with a bone taken from the arm of Gisela. Both are now safely protected in glass and gold cases, and are displayed in the basilica in the western Hungarian town of Veszprém, where Gisela once lived. Her grave is a well-known, and regarded as a holy place. The cross was commissioned by Queen Gisela for the tomb of her mother, who died in 1006 and was buried in the Niedermünster in Regensburg.

Blessed Gisela is depicted on a white limestone panel by Hungarian artist Sandor Kiss on the wall of the Chapel of Our Lady – Queen of Hungary in St. Peter's Basilica, Rome.[4]




  • Butler, Alban (1995). "Bd Giselle of Bavaria". Butler's Lives of the Saints. London: Burns & Oates. p. 39. ISBN 0-86012-254-9.
  • Györffy, György (1996). "Gisela, erste Königin von Ungarn". Bd 17, Hefte zur Bayerischen Geschichte und Kultur. Augsburg: Haus der Bayerischen Geschichte. p. 15. ISBN 3-927233-45-5.
Gisela of Hungary
Born: c. 980 Died: 2 August 1058
Royal titles
Preceded by
Grand Princess of the Hungarians
997–1000 or 1001
Herself as Queen
Herself as Grand Princess Queen consort of Hungary
1000 or 1001–1038
Succeeded by
Next confirmed: Anastasia of Kiev