Kingdom of Hungary Early Medieval
Kingdom of Hungary
1000 Dec 25

Kingdom of Hungary

Esztergom, Hungary

Stephen was crowned the first king of Hungary. He consolidated his rule through a series of wars against semi-independent local rulers, including his maternal uncle, Gyula, and the powerful tribal chief, Ajtony.

Stephen encouraged the spread of Christianity by meting out severe punishments for ignoring Christian customs. His system of local administration was based on counties organized around fortresses and administered by royal officials. Hungary enjoyed a lasting period of peace during his reign, and became a preferred route for pilgrims and merchants traveling between Western Europe, the Holy Land and Constantinople.

He survived all of his children, dying on 15 August 1038 aged 62 or 63. He was buried in his new basilica, built in Székesfehérvár and dedicated to the Holy Virgin. His death was followed by civil wars which lasted for decades.