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Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor

(1500-1558)

Charles V (1500-1558) Holy Roman Emperor 1519-1556 and king of Spain as Charles I (1516-1556), founder of the Habsburg dynasty. He inherited the Spanish throne in 1516 after the death of his maternal grandfather Ferdinand of Aragon and the crown of Germany in 1519 after his paternal grandfather Maximilian I's death. In 1520 he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor at Aachen, having defeated Francis I of France for the election, and became the most powerful monarch in Europe at the age of 19. The ensuing years were dominated by virtually continuous wars with France for possession of Italy, and by series of fruitless attempts to achieve religious unity in Germany. In 1525 Francis I was defeated at the battle of Pavia and taken prisoner, but repudiated the subsequent treaty as soon as he was released. Charles invaded Italy and in 1527 captured and sacked Rome. The Treaty of Cambrai (1529) brought a temporary peace, and Charles made a triumphal procession through Italy and in 1530 was crowned by the pope as emperor and king of Italy. The war broke out again in 1536, when Francis I invaded Savoy, and again in 1542, until a final truce was arranged through the Treaty of Crepy (1544). Charles also beat off an attack by the Ottoman empire with the siege of Vienna by the sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. On the religious front Charles worked hard to try to cope with the tide of Protestantism which threatened to split his empire. Charles extended Spanish dominions in the New World by the conquest of Mexico by Cortes and of Peru by Pizarro. In 1527 he married Isabella of Portugal (1503-1539), by whom he had a son Philip, future Philip II of Spain.
See: Titian. Portrait of Charles V. Portrait of Isabella of Portugal. Portrait of Emperor Charles V at Muhlberg. Portrait of Emperor Charles V Seated.
Lucas Cranach the Elder. Portrait of Charles V.
Anthony van Dyck.  Portrait of Charles V on Horseback.
 
 

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