Valdemar II of Denmark1170-1241) was the King of Denmark from 1202 until 1241.
He was the second son of King Valdemar I, in 1202 he succeeded his brother Canute VI after serving him for many years. He is counted among the greatest of Danish (medieval) kings. In 1204 he secured the recognition of Norway as kingdom, and he began to expand Danish influence along the Baltic in the 1210s. His greatest achievement was the final subjagation and end of his crusade against the Estonians at Reval on June 25,1219. According to legend the sky during the battle was coloured red with a white cross, from this day on the symbol, called the Dannebrog has been the Danish flag.
Denmark was at the height of its power but in 1223 Valdemar was captured by his vassal, the Count of Schwerin and was released in 1226 only at the condition of giving up most of his conquests. In 1227 Valdemar invaded Northern Germany in an attempt to regain his lost territories but was disastrously defeated in the Battle of Bornhöved (July 22,1227). This defeat marked the end of Danish domination of the Baltic but Estonia was preserved. He spent the remainder of his life codifying the law which was completed shortly before his death.
By his first marriage to Margarethe of Bohemia, he had one son, the future Waldemar III. After Margaret's death he married again, this time with a portuguese princess, Berengaria, daughter of king Sancho I of Portugal. They had three sons (Eric IV, Abel and Cristopher I) and one daughter (Sophie). Waldemar married another two times, with Rixa of Bavaria and Helena Guttorsdotter, but he had no children from these matrimonies.
|List of Danish monarchs