QUEEN* CHRISTINA OF SWEDEN
* 17th December 1626 in Stockholm, today Sweden
† 19th April 1689 in Rome, today Italy
Christina of Sweden was Queen of Sweden from 1632 to 1654.
She played a decisive role in the ending of the Thirty Years‘ War, and profoundly benefited from the Westphalian Peace treaties enacted in Münster and Osnabrück in 1648. Inspired by her liberal way of life, Stockholm enjoyed a flourishing of cultural activity. The city became an attraction for eminent artists and scholars. Christina had libraries built, moved several scientists to Stockholm and was devoted to the theater. In 1671, she opened the Teatro Tordinona in Rome, at which women also performed. This was very unusual for the time.
Despite her position as ruler, she refused to marry. In 1654, Christina abdicated as of Sweden and left the throne to her cousin Charles X Gustav. In the same year, she converted to Catholicism. All three decisions caused a scandal.
Christina‘s appearance, behavior, and interests were very unusual for a woman of her time. She had a deep voice and preferred male clothes and haircuts. After her birth, Christina was considered a boy. She received an education and training reserved for men. Evidently, her gender was not completely clear, which still stirs up rumors about the possibility, that Christina was intersex.