Béla III

XII pageHungaryPrincely times Kings and Queens

Béla III (1145–23.04.1196) – King of Hungary (1172–1196), representative of the Árpád dynasty.

Son of the Hungarian King Géza II and Euphrosyne, daughter of Kyivan Prince Mstyslav Volodymyrovych the Great. Was educated in Constantinople. Enjoyed the support of the Byzantine Emperor Manuel I Komnenos, introduced Byzantine rules and customs in state government. In 1170 Béla III was engaged to Agnes of Antioch. After the wedding, the newly-weds went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

In 1172, after the death of the King István (Stephen) III of Hungary, and soon of his son, Béla became a rightful heir to the throne, as he was a brother of István. Supported by Byzantine forces, Béla entered Hungary. After his appeal to Pope Alexander III, Béla was crowned by theArchbishop of Kalocsa on January 13, 1173. He incorporated Szerémség, Croatia, and Dalmatia (1180) into Hungary. In 1188, Béla III, making use of the conflict between the Prince Volodymyr Yaroslavych of Halych and boyars, occupied Halych and proclaimed himself “the King of Halych.” Left his son Andrew to govern Halych. In 1189, Halych boyars united with Volodymyr and drove away the Hungarians.

Portrait (imaginary) of Béla III