Duchess Mary of Burgundy, one of the wealthiest heiresses in the history of Europe, was born on this day in 1457.
Namely, she was the only daughter of the well-known ruler Charles the Bold, the last male member of the Burgundian dynasty of rulers. Mary inherited huge estates which were located in what was then the wealthiest part of Europe.
More precisely, she came into possession of six duchies: Burgundy, Brabant, Geldern, Limburg, Lothier, and Luxembourg. Furthermore, Mary inherited eight counties and a margraviate. All in all, her estates encompassed a large part of what are now the states of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, along with large parts of France (Burgundy, Charolais, Artois, and Vermandois).
Since her father died already in 1477 while fighting the Swiss, Mary inherited all the mentioned lands when she was only 19 years old. Judging by the portrait made by her contemporary artist Michael Pacher, she was quite attractive, with a slightly upturned nose and gentle facial features. Of course, her wealth made her a very sought-after marriage partner.