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12. - 18. století

The Habsburg

A leading European ruling dynasty
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The Habsburg was a dynasty, which had a significant influence on the 'big wheel" of Europe as well as with world politics.
The Habsburg royal family originated in Switzerland, from the castle of "Habichtsburg" (Hawk's Castle), where they had resided approximately since the turn of the 11th and the 12th century.
The rise of the dynasty goes back to the last quarter of the 13th century, when in 1273, a completely unknown Count Rudolf was elected Roman King, to the ire of the most powerful candidate to this throne, Bohemian King Přemysl Otakar the Second. Rudolf however became a much more powerful monarch than thought and kept his power. His sons inherited the Austrian lands after him. That is how the Habsburg entered the Imperial and European politics and stayed there.
In 1306, Rudolf became king of Bohemia as well, but his premature death prevented the Habsburg's from obtaining the crown.

late,in 1437, it is through Albert the Second that the Habsburg acquired the Bohemian, as well as the Hungarian, and even the Roman crown. Forty years later, the Habsburg acquired the Netherlands possessions through marriage and then their power quickly started to expand throughout the Europe.
In 1516, Charles the Fifth became King of Spain and his brother Ferdinand the First became Bohemian and Hungarian King in 1526. Charles the Fifth was also Holy Roman Emperor, the title was held by the Habsburg until 1806 (when the Holy Roman Empire was abolished by Napoleon). In 1580, the Habsburg seized Portugal and became the most powerful monarch family in Europe.
The last male of the Austrian branch, Charles the Sixth, died in 1740, and then the dynasty continued on the distaff side. The last ruling Habsburg was Charles the First, who abdicated in 1918, thus ending the Austro-Hungarian Empire.


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