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Alberto Azzo II Modena, July 10, 1009 - Modena, August 20, 1097, Margrave of Milan , and Liguria, Count of Gavello and Padua, Rovigo, Lunigiana, Monselice, and Montagnana, aka, Albertezzo II, was a powerful nobleman in the Holy Roman Empire. He is considered the founder of Casa d'Este, having been the first family to be master of Este, a town of Padua.

Alberto Azzo II was the only son of Albert Azzo I, Margrave of Milan. He inherited his father's offices around 1020, and continuously increased his properties in northern Italy. In 1069–1070, he tried to acquire Maine for his son Hugh, because his wife, Garsende, was a co-heiress of the previous counts of Maine. Hugh was declared count, but he could not prevail against Robert the duke of Normandy, who had been betrothed to the last heiress. In the Investiture Controversy between Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and Pope Gregory VII, Azzo attempted to mediate, but later he joined the side of the Pope. Around 1073 he made a castle at Este his residence, from which the House of Este, the dynasty to which he belongs, takes its name. Before his building project, Este was little more than a village.

His son Welf IV d'Este moved to Germany, first to Carinthia and then to Bavaria, giving rise to one of the most important families in European history, the Guelphs. This in turn ultimately led to the ascension to the English throne in 1714 with George I of England. Another son Fulk I of Milan was the first for whom there is a documented of "Marquis d'Este."

Family

Azzo II married Cuniza (also called Chuniza and Cunigunde), daughter of Welf II, Count of Altdorf, by 1036. They had one known child:

His second marriage was to Garsende, daughter of Herbert I, Count of Maine, around 1050. They had the following known sons:

Thirdly, he married Matilda, sister of William, Bishop of Padua, with whom he had no known children.

He married Vitalia Orseolo, daughter of Peter Orseolo. They had daughter Itta.

References

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