Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem

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Melisende was a medieval queen who ruled the Kingdom of Jerusalem from 1131 until her death in 1151. She was the daughter of King Baldwin II and the wife of King Fulk of Anjou, and she played a significant role in the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusades.

Melisende Queen of Jerusalem
In This Photo: The Church of Mary’s Tomb – Where Melisende is Buried

Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem was born in the city of Jerusalem in 1105, she was raised in the royal court and was well-educated in both religious and secular subjects. She was the granddaughter of the first King of Jerusalem, Baldwin I, and her father Baldwin II was the second King of Jerusalem. When her father passed away in 1131, Melisende was crowned Queen of Jerusalem, becoming the first woman in the history of the Kingdom to hold the title of queen pregnant.

The Reign of Melisende, Queen of Jerusalem

Melisende ruled the Kingdom of Jerusalem with her husband King Fulk of Anjou, who was the father of their son Baldwin III. Despite the fact that her husband held the title of King, Melisende was a powerful and influential ruler in her own right, and she held equal power and authority in the kingdom. She was known for her wisdom, her political acumen, and her ability to command the loyalty and respect of her subjects.

In This Photo: The Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Throughout her reign, Melisende faced numerous challenges and threats to the Kingdom of Jerusalem, including invasions from the Muslim states of the region and internal political rivalries. However, she was able to navigate these challenges with skill and determination, and she was instrumental in securing the stability and prosperity of the Kingdom during her rule.

Her Achievements

One of Melisende’s most notable achievements was her role in supporting the construction of new churches and monasteries in the Kingdom of Jerusalem. She was a devout Christian and believed in the importance of religious institutions, and she used her wealth and influence to support the construction of several new churches and monasteries, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem and Jericho Tour - Nativity Church Basilica
In This Photo: The Church of Nativity in Bethlehem

In addition to her religious and political achievements, Melisende was also known for her artistic and cultural pursuits. She was a patron of the arts and supported the creation of illuminated manuscripts and other works of art, many of which are still preserved today and are considered some of the greatest masterpieces of medieval art.

In conclusion, Melisende was a remarkable figure in the history of the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Crusades. As the first woman in the history of the kingdom to hold the title of queen regnant, she played a significant role in the political, religious, and cultural life of the kingdom. Her wisdom, political acumen, and devotion to the arts and religion made her a beloved ruler who was remembered for centuries after her death.


Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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