Prague Minos Guide

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16. století

Ferdinand I

First Habsburg with hereditary accession to the Bohemian thron
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Ferdinand was a prominent European ruler and came from the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs. His father was Philip I and his mother the famous Spanish Infanta Joanna the Mad, while his brother was probably the most powerful ruler in Europe, Charles V.
Ferdinand was given a strict Catholic education at the court of Spain, as was the custom. He soon was engaged to Anna Jagiello, the daughter of the King of Hungary, and this fact defined his future. After the death of Anna’s brother Louis in the Battle of Mohacs in 1526, he started lobbying for the Hungarian and the Bohemian crowns. In the meantime he ruled over the Austrian and Carinthian

territories of the Habsburgs.
Ferdinand skillfully maneuvered in the morass of the Czech Estates’ complicated concerns and in 1527 he was crowned King of Bohemia, which made the Habsburgs the most powerful reigning dynasty in Europe.
Ferdinand was a supporter of absolutism, thus meeting with the opposition of the Czech Estates. His strict Catholic education was also very badly accepted in the Protestant Czech lands. The process of recatholization was initiated during the rule of Ferdinand, as an attempt to reduce Protestantism.
Ferdinand was the first autocratic ruler, who set the Czech lands on the way to the Austrian monarchy.


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