Isabella Jagiellon (Hungarian: Izabella királyné; Polish: Izabela Jagiellonka; 18 January 1519 - 15 September 1559) was a Queen of Hungary and the consort of John Zápolya.
Born in Kraków to King Sigismund I of Poland and Bona Sforza, Princess of Milan, Izabella was brought up in the Polish royal court. Her mother taught her the Italian language and Renaissance culture, so she became an educated young lady, who spoke four languages.
In 1539 Izabella was married to the claimant of the Hungarian throne, John Zápolya. Their son John II Sigismund Zápolya was born on 8 July 1540. Her husband died two weeks after the child was born, and from this time on Izabella began her struggle to keep the Hungarian throne as a widow queen and the guardian of her child, who was elected electus rex in the meantime.
In 1541, after the reoccupation of Buda, Izabella went to Transylvania on the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, where she reigned with her child over the territories under her authority. However, the real governor was the appointed George Martinuzzi. In the summer of 1551 she left Transylvania, which fell into the hands of Ferdinand of Austria in accordance with the treaty of Nyírbátor.
According to a legend, when Izabella stopped to have a rest at the gates of Meszes, she cut the abbreviation of her slogan into the bark of an old oak tree: SFV - Sic fata volunt, i.e. it is the will of fate. By the request of the Hungarian orders she returned to the country together with her child and her advisor, Mihály Csáky, in the autumn of 1556. After this Izabella set up her Transylvanian chancellery with the help of Mihály Csáky, and the new state started to function. She reigned in the new state with her son until her death in Alba Iulia in 1559.
Izabella is notable as being "the first ruler to issue an edict of universal toleration" in religion. The edict was passed in 1558, preceding the more famous Edict of Nantes (1598), by forty years
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In 1541 - after the partition of the Kingdom of Hungary - Alba Iulia became the capital of the Eastern Hungarian Kingdom and after the Principality of Transylvania and remained so until 1690. The Treaty of Weissenburg was signed in the town in 1551. During the reign of Prince Gábor Bethlen, the city reached a high point in its cultural history with the establishment of an academy. The former Turkish equivalent was "Erdel Belgradı" ("Belgrade of Transylvania" in Turkish) where Erdel (Erdély) was added to prevent confusion with Belgrat and Arnavut Belgradı ("Albanian Belgrade" in Turkish, early name of Berat during Ottoman rule).