Béla II


son of: Álmos 
periods of reign: 1131-1141
spouse: Helena of Rascia
children: Géza II of Hungary, Ladislaus II of Hungary, Stephen IV of Hungary, Sophia, Gertrude, Álmos
succesor: Géza II


Béla II – also known as Béla the Blind – was Álmos’ (son of King Géza I) and the daughter of the Grand Prince of Kiev’s son. His father’s life was characterized by the continuous battle for the Hungarian crown and this had its effects on Béla II’s life as well. On the order of King Coloman the barely 7-year-old Béla was blinded along with his father. He grew up in monasteries.

Around 1128 King Stephen II reconciled with Béla II and after his death Béla II followed him on the throne. He started his reign with taking vengeance on those who had blinded him. According to sources from that period, in 1131 at an assembly of the realm near Arad, he ordered the slaughter of 68 noblemen. Taking advantage of the king’s supposed weaknesses Boris, King Coloman’s illegitimate son tried to gain the throne using Polish help, but Béla defeated him and his troops.

During the reign of Béla II, Hungarian foreign policy was very effective and successful. Due to marriages and clever diplomacy Béla II surrounded Poland with the allies of Hungary, with which he later also reconciled. In 1136 he conquered Dalmatia and Bosnia. Béla II was very successful in handling the internal affairs of the country. He founded the predecessor of the chancery and he also maintained good relationship with the leaders of the Church. Due to his blindness he reigned with the help of his intelligent wife, Queen Helena and a circle of advisors.

Helena and Béla II had 4 sons and 2 daughters. He also respected his father’s memory by bringing his remains home from Byzantium. He had buried his father in the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Stephen in Székesfehérvár, where he himself was later laid to rest after his death in 1141.


Source: Wikipedia