Croatian noble ruled Östergötland in Sweden

Remains of Stegeborg fort in Östergötlandu, the seat of Croatian nobleman Ivan Frankopan.

Origin of the coat of arms owned by the Swedish noble family Kristiernsson from Östergötland in Sweden. During the fifteenth century, this family served the Scandinavian king Erik VII of Pomerania and his governor in Östergötland, count Ivan VI. Anž Frankopan (in Sweden known as Johan Franke or Johan Vale). The central part of Kristiernsson’s seal corresponds to the traditional chequered Croatian coat of arms, known since the eleventh century. During the king Erik of Pomerania’s travel through Croatia on his way to the Holy Land, his followers and king’s shield-bearer Hindrik Kristiernsson made a longer break in Frankopan’s city of Senj. The coat of arms very similar to that of Kristiernsson’s, belonged to the noble family Perović from Senj. The details concerning King Erik’s visit to Senj and his escort’s stay at surroundings of the town are discussed. The appearance of chequer in the Croatian and the Scandinavian coat of arms are briefly described.



by Mladen Ibler

Within the framework of medieval history of Europe and its own geo-strategic location, Scandinavian royalties and nobility entertained contacts with central and Western Europe. Less known however, is the relationship between Eric of Pomerania, the King of the three Scandinavian realms and the Croatian nobility of Frankopans. This paper attempts to provide the short description of the conditions in Croatia and Scandinavia at the beginning of XV century, the relationship between Eric of Pommerania and count Ivan Anz Frankopan, and the role of the Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) during King Eric’s travel on his way to the Holy Land 1424-5.

Based on Dubrovnik, Budapest, Vatican and Scandinavian sources, a special emphasis is being given to the events surrounding Ivan Anz Frankopan’s visit to Sweden. In Venetian and Scandinavian sources, he is reffered to under the name of Gian Franchi and Johan Franke. Due to this reason, historians have been unaware of the real identity of King Eric’s steward of the estate (fief) Stegeborg in Sweden 1426-34, count Ivan Anz Frankopan.

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