Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor

Holy Roman Emperor from 1355 to 1378 / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Charles IV (Czech: Karel IV.; German: Karl IV.; Latin: Carolus IV; 14 May 1316 – 29 November 1378[1]), also known as Charles of Luxembourg, born Wenceslaus (Czech: Václav, German: Wenzel),[2] was the first King of Bohemia to become Holy Roman Emperor. He was a member of the House of Luxembourg from his father's side and the Bohemian House of Přemyslid from his mother's side; he emphasized the latter due to his lifelong affinity for the Bohemian side of his inheritance, and also because his direct ancestors in the Přemyslid line included two saints.[3][4]

Quick facts: Charles IV, King of Bohemia, Reign, Coronatio...
Charles IV
King of Bohemia
Reign26 August 1346 – 29 November 1378
Coronation2 September 1347, Prague
SuccessorWenceslaus IV
King of the Romans
(Roman-German King)
Reign11 July 1346 – 29 November 1378
Coronation26 November 1346, Bonn
PredecessorLouis IV
Holy Roman Emperor
King of Italy
Reign1355 – 29 November 1378
  • 6 January 1355, Milan (Italian)
  • 5 April 1355, Rome (Imperial)
PredecessorLouis IV
Born14 May 1316
Died29 November 1378 (aged 62)
(m. 1329; died 1348)
(m. 1349; died 1353)
(m. 1353; died 1362)
(m. 1363)
FatherJohn of Bohemia
MotherElisabeth of Bohemia
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Coat of arms of the House of Luxembourg–Bohemia
Arms of Charles IV as Holy Roman Emperor

He was the eldest son and heir of John of Bohemia, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, who died at the Battle of Crécy on 26 August 1346. His mother, Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, was the sister of Wenceslaus III, King of Bohemia and Poland, the last of the male Přemyslid rulers of Bohemia. Charles inherited the County of Luxembourg from his father and was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. On 2 September 1347, Charles was crowned King of Bohemia.

On 11 July 1346, the prince-electors chose him as King of the Romans (rex Romanorum) in opposition to Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor. Charles was crowned on 26 November 1346 in Bonn. After his opponent died, he was re-elected in 1349 and crowned King of the Romans. In 1355, he was crowned King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor. With his coronation as King of Burgundy in 1365, he became the personal ruler of all the kingdoms of the Holy Roman Empire.

Having played a tremendous part in the political and cultural history of the Kingdom of Bohemia, he remains a very popular figure in the Czech Republic. The Golden Bull of 1356 marked a structural change in the politics of the Holy Roman Empire. Several aspects of his legacy remain a contentious matter though. The image of Charles as a wise, pious, peace-loving king (partly constructed by Charles himself) has proved influential until this day, supported by several artistic or scholarly projects produced during Charles's reign or afterwards.