List of rulers of Croatia

List of rulers of Croatia
The seal of the Kingdom of Croatia and Dalmatia was affixed in 1527 to the Cetin Charter that confirmed the Habsburg to be the rulers of Croatia
Coat of arms of the House of Habsburg at their height. The Habsburgs ruled the Kingdom of Croatia for just under 470 years, longer than any other dynasty


Earliest history

The details of the arrival of the Croats are scarcely documented. c. 626 Croats migrate from White Croatia (around what is now Galicia) at the invitation of Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius. c. 641 – c. 689 Radoslav converts Croatia to Christianity.

Dukes of Croatia

During 8th century two principalities were formed - the Pannonian Croatia and of the Littoral Croatia (Dalmatian Croatia), with two parallel dukes on rule.

Dukes of the Pannonian Croatia Dukes of the Littoral Croatia (Dalmatian Croatia)
Name Reign Notes
Vojnomir c. 790 - c. 800 / 791 - c. 810
Ljudevit Posavski 810 - 823
Ratimir 829 - 838
Braslav 880 - c. 887
Name Reign Notes
Radoslav ... - ...
Kuber ... - ...
Porga or Borko 660 - 680
Budimir 740 - 785
Višeslav 785 - 802
Borna 810 – 821 Vassal of Frankish Emperor Charlemagne; son of Višeslav
Vladislav January 821 - 835 son of Klonimir
Mislav 835 - 845
Trpimir I 845 - 864 Founder of the Trpimirović dynasty
Zdeslav 864 son of Trpimir I
Domagoj 864 - 876 overthrows his cousin Zdeslav
Iljko ? 876 – 878 Iljko's name is disputed, it is only known that he was a son of Domagoj, killed during a civil war
Zdeslav 878 - May 879 restored
Branimir 879 - 892 son of Domagoj
Muncimir 892 - 900 son of Trpimir
Tomislav 910 - 928

Kings of Croatia of native line

In his letter from 925, Pope John X refers to Tomislav as Rex Chroatorum - King of Croatia. All Croatian rulers after Tomislav held the title of king.

House of Trpimirović

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Kralj Tomislav na prijestolju.JPG Tomislav  ? 928 Probably son of Muncimir. After his death civil wars weakened the state and some territory, including Bosnia, was lost. His rank of "king" (rex) is based on two contemporary documents; a correspondance dated 925 where the Pope John X addresses him with that title and the transcript from the Synod conlusions in Split where he is also referred to as "rex". He was also addressed as "Princeps" ("Prince") and Duke (Dux) on other occasions. Nevertheless, in Croatia he is traditionally considered the first Croatian king.
Noimage.png Trpimir II 928 935 Younger brother or son of Tomislav
Noimage.png Krešimir I
(Krešimir Stariji)
935 945 Son of Trpimir II
Noimage.png Miroslav 945 949 Son of Krešimir I
Noimage.png Michael Krešimir II
(Mihajlo Krešimir)
Helen I
(Jelena Zadarska)
949 969 Younger brother of Miroslav. Michael Krešimir II ruled jointly with his wife Queen Helen I. Upon the King's death in 969 their son Stephen Držislav immediately took the throne alone, while the Queen Helen I died seven years later on 8 October 976. During their reign, the Croatian Kingdom regained previously lost territories, including Bosnia.
Noimage.png Stephen Držislav
(Stjepan Držislav)
969 997 Son of Michael Krešimir II. Queen Jelena of Zadar ruled as a regent for Stephen Držislav 969 - 8 November 975. He received royal insigia as an act of recognition from the Byzantine Emperor and was crowned by the Archbishop of Split in Biograd in 988. Thomas the Archdeacon's Historia Salonitana names him as the first King of Croatia (rex), regardless, he is considered the first crowned Croatian King.[1]
Noimage.png Svetoslav Suronja 997 1000 Son of Stephen Držislav. Detroned by his brothers Krešimir III and Gojslav
Noimage.png Krešimir III
1000 1020 Younger brothers of Svetoslav Suronja
Noimage.png Krešimir III
1020 1030 Younger brother of Svetoslav Suronja
Noimage.png Stephen I
(Stjepan I)
1030 1058 Son of Krešimir III
Kresimir.jpg Peter Krešimir IV the Great
(Petar Krešimir IV Veliki)
1058 1074 Son of Stephen I. During his reign the Croatian Kingdom reached its peak.
KraljTomislav.jpg Demetrius Zvonimir
(Dmitar Zvonimir)
1075 1089 Cousin of Peter Krešimir IV. C. 1063 marries Princess Helen, daughter of King Bela I of Hungary.
Noimage.png Stephen II
(Stjepan II)
1089 December 1090 Son of Častimir, who was younger brother of King Peter Krešimir IV.
Noimage.png Helen II
(Jelena Lijepa)
1090 1091 Widow of King Demetrius Zvonimir and daughter of King Bela I of Hungary
Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Noimage.png Slavac? 1090 1093 Dalmatian rival. Disputed by many historians.

House of Árpád

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Laszlo-ChroniconPictum.jpg Ladislaus I of Hungary
(Ladislav I. Arpadović)
1091 1092 Son of Hungarian king Béla I and brother of Croatian Queen Jelena Lijepa
Noimage.png Duke Álmos
(herceg Almoš)
1091 1093 Nephew of Ladislaus, rules as his proxy.

House of Svačić

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Noimage.png Petar Svačić 1093 1097 Elected by Croatian nobles. Struggles with Hungary for control of Croatia. From 1097 onwards, the Kings of Hungary were also Kings of Croatia, because of the political union of the two crowns.

After 1102

From 1102, the reigning King of Hungary is ruler of Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia and Dalmatia in agreement with the Croatian nobles.[2][3] Croatia is governed on his behalf by a Ban (viceroy) and a Sabor.

House of Árpád

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Kálmán Thuróczy.jpg Coloman
1102 3 February 1116 Battle of Gvozd Mountain (modern Petrova Gora). Coloman, supported by Pannonian Croats, defeats an army of Croatian and Dalmatian nobles allied to Petar. Recognized as King of Croatia by a council (Sabor) of Croatian nobles.
Stefan II węgierski.jpg Stephen III
(Stjepan II.)
3 February 1116 3 April 1131 Son of Coloman
II Bela KK.jpg Béla I the Blind
(Bela II. Slijepi)
3 April 1131 13 February 1141 grandson of Géza I, son of Álmos, Coloman's younger brother
Géza II.jpg Géza
(Gejza II.)
13 February 1141 31 May 1162 son of Béla II
III Istvan koronazasa KK.jpg Stephen IV
(Stjepan III.)
31 May 1162 4 March 1172 son of Géza II
Chronicon Pictum P121 A korona elrablása.JPG Ladislaus II
(Ladislav II.)
31 May 1162 14 January 1163 rebel anti-king, younger brother of Géza II.
Stephen IV of Hungary.jpg Stephen V
(Stjepan IV.)
14 January 1163 June 1163 rebel anti-king, younger brother of Géza II.
Bela3.jpg Béla II 4 March 1172 13 April 1196 younger brother of Stephen III.
Emeric of Hungary.jpg Emeric
13 April 1196 30 November 1204 son of Béla III.
III.László.jpg Ladislaus III
(Ladislav III.)
30 November 1204 7 May 1205 son of Emerik, crowned and died as a child
Andrew II of Hungary th.jpg Andrew I
(Andrija II.)
7 May 1205 21 September 1235 brother of Emerik, in 1222 issued Golden Bull which established the rights of noblemen, including the right to disobey the King when he acted contrary to law (jus resistendi).
Kk ivb.jpg Béla III 21 September 1235 3 May 1270 son of Andrew II, ruled during First Mongol invasion (1241–42), in 1242 issued Golden Bull and proclaimed Zagreb and Samobor a Free Royal Borough (free and royal city)
V Istvan koronazasa.jpg Stephen VI
(Stjepan V.)
3 May 1270 6 August 1272 son of Béla IV.
Kun L szl Thuroczy.jpg Ladislaus IV the Cuman
(Ladislav IV. Kumanac)
6 August 1272 10 July 1290 son of Steven V.; unsuccessful Mongol invasion; lived with the nomad Cuman tribes
III Andras Thuroczy.jpg Andrew II
(Andrija III. Mlečanin)
4 August 1290 14 January 1301 grandson of Andrew II, born in Venice; last of the Árpád dynasty

House of Anjou

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Martell károly.jpg Charles Martel of Anjou
(Karlo Martel)
1290 1295 set up by Pope Nicholas IV and the ecclesiastical party as successor of his maternal uncle, the childless Ladislaus IV. Crowned as the King of Croatia but not as King of Hungary
Chronicon Pictum I Karoly Robert.jpg Charles I
(Karlo I. Robert)
14 January 1301 16 July 1342 son of Charles Martel, established the royal Angevin dynasty.
Nuremberg Chronicles f 235r 2 Ladislaus rex.jpg Louis I the Great
(Ludovik I. Veliki)
16 July 1342 11 September 1382 also became King of Poland (1370)
Mária Thuróczy.jpg Mary I
(Marija Anžuvinska)
11 September 1382 17 May 1395 married Sigismund of Luxemburg
Kis Karoly TK.jpg Charles II
(Karlo II. Drački)
31 December 1385 24 February 1386 also King of Naples, in opposition to Mary. Assassinated on 7 February 1386 an died on 24 February

House of Luxembourg

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Zsigmond Thuroczy.jpg Sigismund I
(Žigmund Luksemburški)
31 March 1387 9 December 1437 later also Roman-German King (since 1410), King of Bohemia (since 1419), Holy Roman Emperor (since 1433)

House of Anjou

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Ladislas of Naples (head).jpg Ladislaus of Naples
(Ladislav Napuljski)
5 August 1403 1409 Son of Charles II. Claimed the Crown of Hungary and Croatia and opposed by King Sigismund of Luxemburg. Ladislas eventually sold his rights to the kingdom of Dalmatia to the Venetian Republic for 100,000 ducats in 1409.

House of Habsburg

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Albrecht II. von Habsburg.jpg Albert I 1 January 1438 27 October 1439 son-in-law of Sigismund, also Roman-German King, King of Bohemia, Duke of Austria

Jagiellon dynasty

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Jagelló Ulászló.jpg Vladislaus I
(Vladislav I. Jagelović)
15 May 1440 10 November 1444 also King of Poland

House of Habsburg

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
VLaszlo.gif Ladislaus V the Posthumus
(Ladislav V. Posmrtni)
15 May 1440 23 November 1457 born in 1440 after his father's death, spent most of his life in captivity.

House of Hunyadi

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Matei Corvin Johannes de Thurocz f137.jpg Matthias I Corvinus
(Matija Korvin)
24 January 1458 6 April 1490 son of John Hunyadi, also King of Bohemia

Jagiellon dynasty

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary.jpg Vladislaus II
(Vladislav II. Jagelović)
15 July 1490 13 May 1516 also King of Bohemia
Hans Krell 001.jpg Louis II
(Ludovik II.)
13 May 1516 29 August 1526 also King of Bohemia; killed in the Battle of Mohács

House of Zapolya

Kingship disputed between Ferdinand of Austria and John Zápolya during the Ottoman invasion

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Szapolyai János fametszet.jpg John I
(Ivan Zapolja)
10 November 1526 22 July 1540 Also claimed the throne, with support of Hungarian nobles and later Suleiman the Magnificent.

House of Habsburg

On January 1, 1527 Croatian Parliament, on its session in Cetin elected Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria as the new king of Croatia.

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Hans Bocksberger der Aeltere 001.jpg Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
(Ferdinand Habsburški)
16 December 1526 25 July 1564 claimed the throne according the agreement between the House of Jagiellon and the House of Habsburg
Nicolas Neufchâtel 002.jpg Maximilian
(Maksimilijan I.)
8 September 1563 12 October 1576 ruled during Battle of Szigetvár and Croatian peasant revolt
Joseph Heintz d. Ä. 002.jpg Rudolf I 25 September 1572 26 June 1608 ruled during Battle of Sisak, abdicated in favor of his younger brother Matthias
Lucas van Valckenborch 003.jpg Matthias II
(Matija II.)
26 June 1608 20 March 1619 brother of Rudolf II
Ferdinand II with insignia.jpg Ferdinand II 1 July 1618 15 February 1637 In 1630 issued Statuta Valachorum in opposition to Croatian Parliament
Frans Luycx 002.jpg Ferdinand III 8 December 1625 2 April 1657  
Benjamin von Block 001.jpg Leopold I 27 June 1657 5 May 1705 Crushed Zrinski–Frankopan Conspiracy and abolished the right of Croatian Parliament to elect king. In 1669 founded University of Zagreb
Joseph I Holy Roman Emperor.png Joseph I
(Josip I.)
9 December 1687 17 April 1711  
Johann Gottfried Auerbach 004.jpg Charles III
(Karlo III.)
11 April 1711 20 October 1740 On 9 March 1712 Croatian Parliament voted its Pragmatic Sanction in which the Kingdom of Croatia accepted female inheritance of its crown after extinction of the male line and supporting her to become Queen of Croatia

House of Habsburg-Lorraine

Portrait Ruler Began Ended Remarks
Kaiserin Maria Theresia (HRR).jpg Maria II Theresa
(Marija Terezija)
20 October 1740 29 November 1780 Division of Croatia on županije (counties) and in 1767 forms Croatian Royal Council (Consilium Regium) until 1779 when she abolishes it. Queen conducts military and economy reforms and especially serfdom.
Anton von Maron 006.png Joseph II
(Josip II.)
29 November 1780 20 February 1790 Abolished serfdom. Germanization of Croatian lands.
Johann Daniel Donat, Emperor Leopold II in the Regalia of the Golden Fleece (1806).png Leopold II 20 February 1790 1 March 1792  
Friedrich von Amerling 003a.jpg Francis
(Franjo I.)
1 March 1792 2 March 1835  
Ferdinand I; Keizer van Oostenrijk.jpg Ferdinand V 28 September 1830 2 December 1848 Being epileptic and mentally ill, abdicated in favour of his nephew, Franz Joseph (son of his younger brother Franz Karl). Died in 1875.
Franz joseph1.jpg Francis Joseph
(Franjo Josip I.)
2 December 1848 21 November 1916  
Emperor karl of austria-hungary 1917.png Charles IV
(Karlo IV.)
21 November 1916 16 November 1918 Reigned until 1918, when he "renounced participation" in state affairs, but did not abdicate. He spent the remaining years of his life attempting to restore the monarchy until his death in 1922.

Modern times

  • After the World War I and the break off of Austria-Hungary, Croatia joins a newly formed State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs. Following a brief period of self-rule, becomes part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes under the Karađorđević dynasty
  • 1939 - 1943: Croatia is an autonomous Banovina within the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, ruled by King Peter II, and administered in the King's name by Ban (viceroy) Ivan Šubašić. During this period, in 1941 Croatia was occupied by the Axis powers along with the rest of Yugoslavia.
  • 1943 - 1945: Croatia becomes a federal state of the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia, the Federal State of Croatia. King Peter II is not acknowledged as the monarch but is also not yet formally deposed, the resolution of the issue is postponed until after the war. Croatia is headed by Vladimir Nazor, head of the wartime provisional parliament, the ZAVNOH.
  • 1945 - 1991: Monarchical rule in Croatia is formally abolished in November 1945. Croatia is a socialist republic within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the Socialist Republic of Croatia. The state is headed by the President of the Presidency of Croatia.
  • June 25, 1991: present Republic of Croatia becomes independent. See:
    • Presidents of Croatia
    • Prime ministers of Croatia

Independent State of Croatia

1941 - 1945: the Nazi-puppet Independent State of Croatia was formed by the Axis powers on occupied Yugoslav territory, and was ruled by the Ustaše party led by Ante Pavelić. In May 1941 this state was made a formal kingdom (by agreement between Ante Pavelić and Benito Mussolini). Italian Prince Aimone, Duke of Aosta was formally named as the king-designate under the name "Tomislav II", but refused to assume the kingship, was never crowned, never ruled, and formally abdicated in 1943.

See also


  1. ^ Thomas the Archdeacon: Historia Salonitana, caput 13.
  2. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia
  3. ^ [1]

External links

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