Charles IV Holy Roman Emperor, biography, Birth, Family, Interesting Fact

Charles IV also known as Charles of Luxembourg was born on 29 November 1378. The Holy Roman was the first king of Bohemia to become emperor. He was a member of the Luxembourg House on his father’s side and the Czech House of Prekslid on his mother’s side. He was the eldest son and successor of John of Bohemia, King of Bohemia, and Count of Luxembourg.

He died on 26 August 1346 at the Battle of Crecy. Charles inherited the county of Luxembourg from his father. And he was elected king of the Kingdom of Bohemia. Charles was crowned King of Bohemia on 2 September 1347.

Charles IV Bio

NameCharles IV
nicknameCharles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
Birth14 May 1316
BirthplacePrague, Czechia
age62 ( 29 November 1378 )
Zodiac SignTaurus
ReligionRoman Catholicism
Died29 November 1378
death placePrague, Czechia
Place burialSt. Vitus Cathedral, Prague


Charles IV was born in the Luxembourg dynasty on May 14, 1316, in Prague, the modern Czech Republic. He was born as the eldest son in the family and had inherited a vast land ruled by his father. He lived in the court of his uncle King Charles IV of France for seven years. He changed his name to Charles in honor of his uncle during his ‘confirmation’ ceremony.

Charles IV Family

Charles IV’s father’s name is John of Bohemia. And his mother’s name is Elisabeth of Bohemia. Charles IV was born while his mother was Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. He was named Wenceless after the birth of his maternal grandfather King Wenceless II. The grandfather of Charles IV Holy Roman Emperor and his mother’s uncle were both kings.


He was educated at the French court. And one of his teachers was the future Pope Clement VI. Charles was a fast learner. and became proficient in five languages: Czech, Latin, Italian, French, and German. He was also trained in warfare and politics.

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Holy Roman Emperor

In the middle of the 14th century, the title of Holy Roman Emperor was more useful for the advancement of dynasticism than a sign of political power. A series of emperors from hitherto obscure families – the Hapsburgs, Knossos, Wittelsbach, and Luxembourg – had held the title since 1273. Certainly were elected because they were unlikely to form a de facto imperial monarchy. The real power in the empire was in the hands of the princes.

who chose each emperor and in the hands of other nobles and individual cities who accompanied him for rights and privileges. The imperial title gave only certain rights to its holder to appoint certain types of officials, to issue certain privileges, and to receive certain incomes from Italy and Germany. It also attracted dynastic envy and political opposition to those who feared the emperor to be too powerful or too ambitious.

Charles faced the same problems as his predecessors: a lack of a royal administration or legal framework, a lack of funding, and a lack of strong social or territorial support on which to establish a strong imperial degree. Charles was the first to try to organize the empire. In the royal diets of Nuremberg and Metz in 1355–1356, he issued a series of ordinances. Collectively known as the Golden Bull. which stabilized the privileges of the electorate. He was given virtual freedom from royal power. and served as their basis. There was a strong empire.

The jealousy and hostility of the electorate of Charles Wittelsbeck and the Hapsburg rivals prevented the emperor from contributing further to the actual reform of the German government. In addition, Charles was engaged in other royal duties. At the turn of the century, the Avignon-based papacy claimed to have helped Charles return to Italy. The great poet Petrarch asked Charles to remember the Roman destiny and return to pacify Italy.

Charles unsuccessfully entered Italy in 1367–1369. After returning to Prague he focused on raising his sons to positions of power until his death. His eldest son Wenceslas was elected king of the Romans. and named his successor in Bohemia. and arranged for his second son to marry the heir of the King of Hungary. His remaining efforts were focused on the expansion of Bohemian power.


The European realms of Charles V red represent the crown of Aragon, Castile’s magenta crown, orange its burgundy heritage, mustard yellow its Austrian heritage, and yellow representing the balance of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1506, Charles inherited his father’s Burgundy territory, especially the Terai and François-Comté.

Most of the holdings were fiefs of the German Empire, with the exception of his birthplace of Flanders. which was still a French fief. Who was a powerful player in the Hundred Years’ War? As a minor, his aunt Margaret had served as regent in Austria in 1515. Appointed by Emperor Maximilian. He soon found himself at war with France over the question of the need for Flanders to pay tribute to the King of France. As did his father.

The result was that France relinquished its ancient claim to Flanders in 1528. From 1515 to 1523, Charles’ government in the Netherlands faced a revolt of the Western peasants. The rebels were initially successful but the remaining leaders were captured after a series of defeats. And in 1523 he was beheaded. Charles expanded Burgundian territory with the capture of Tournai, Artois, Utrecht, Groningen, and Gelders.

The seventeen provinces were unified by Charles’ Burgundian ancestors. But they were the nominees of France or the Holy Roman Empire. In 1549, Charles issued a pragmatic sanction declaring the Low Countries a unified entity. which his family had inherited. The low countries had an important place in the empire.

For Charles V personally, it was his home. The area where he was born. and where he spent his childhood. The Low Countries also represented significant revenue for the royal treasury due to trade and industry and the wealth of the region’s cities. The Burgundian territories were generally loyal to Charles throughout his reign.

The important port city of Ghent revolted in 1539 due to heavy tax payments demanded by Charles. However, the rebellion did not last long. Because Charles’ military response, combined with the reinforcement of the Duke of Alba, was swift and humiliating for the rebels of Ghent.

Bohemian cultural revival

The establishment of the House of Luxembourg on the Bohemian throne in 1310 in the incarnation of Charles’ father John had increased Bohemian power and prestige in Christendom. John however had a reputation for the last 20 years of his life away from Bohemia for the crown and more importantly for his courageous actions and prudent acquisitions for his kingdom.

Charles’s genius administrative experience, papal connections, and genuine love for Bohemia inspire him to continue his father’s policy. The Great University of Prague was founded by Charles in 1348. and rebuilt much of its capital Prague in later years. A magnificent bridge over the Volta connected the famous New Town to the city and built the famous Karlstein Palace. From where he ruled both the empire and the kingdom.

Native Bohemian culture was conceptualized as a result of the teaching and shelter of Charles’ art, as well as the work of artists and scholars brought in from France and Germany. Prague also saw an early stage of humanism under the influence of the skilled and scholar Chancery of Charles. The scholar-king himself inspires most of the activities in his area. He could speak Latin, French, German, Czech, and Italian. He was interested in theology and law. And lived a simple, pious – almost superstitious life.

Adhering to the royal style of his age. Which meant sharing the fortunes of his household as the problems of the empire Charles had enriched his household rule as well. If his imperial rule was less effective. So they at least avoided getting caught up in the insoluble problems of Italy and the Pope. and had managed to stabilize the political animosity in Germany for some time. He died in Prague on 29 November 1378.

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Conflict with the Ottoman Empire

Charles constantly fought with the Ottoman Empire and its sultan Solomon the Magnificent. The defeat of Hungary at the Battle of Mohács in 1526 sent a wave of terror to Europe. Muslim progress in Central Europe was halted during the Siege of Vienna in 1529. Despite the Spanish conquest of Tunis in 1535, Solomon won the competition to master the Mediterranean. The regular Ottoman fleet dominated the eastern Mediterranean after the conquest of Preveza in 1538 and Djerba in 1560.

Which severely destroyed the hands of the Spanish sea. At the same time, Muslim Barbary corsairs operating under the general authority and supervision of the Sultan regularly ravaged Spanish and Italian coastlines. The Spanish cripple trade. and weaken the foundations of Habsburg’s power. Francis I of France allied himself with Solomon against Charles in 1536. When in 1538 Francis was persuaded to sign a peace treaty.

So he joined the Ottomans in a Franco-Ottoman alliance in 1542. In 1543 Charles allied himself with Henry VIII. Thereby, Francis was forced to sign the Crepe-en-Laois conflict. Later in 1547, Charles signed a humiliating treaty with the Ottomans to get some relief from the heavy cost of his war. Charles V forced the Safavid Empire to open another front against the Ottomans in an attempt to form a Habsburg-Persian alliance. Contacts were positive. But wide distances were difficult. In reality, the Safavids clashed with the Ottoman Empire in the Ottoman-Safavid War. which had forced it to dissipate its military resources.

Charles IV Marriage

Charles was married four times. His first wife was Blanche of Valois (1316–1348), daughter of Charles Count of Valois and half-sister of King Philip VI of France. He had three children.

  • (1) The son (born 1334) had died young.
  • (2) Margaret of Bohemia, Queen of Hungary (1335–1349) was married to King Louis I of Hungary.
  • (3) Catherine of Bohemia (1342–1395) was married to Rudolf IV, Duke of Austria and Otto V, Duke of Bavaria and Elector of Brandenburg.

He had a second marriage with Anna of Bavaria. (1329–1353) was Count Palatine of the Rhine, daughter of Rudolf II. He had a son.

  • ( 1 ) Wenceslaus (1350–1351)

He was by his third wife Anna von Schwednitz (1339–1362), daughter of Henry II, Duke of Venice, and Catherine of Anjou (daughter of King Charles I Robert of Hungary). With whom he had three children.

  • ( 1 ) Elisabeth of Bohemia
  • ( 2 ) Wenceslaus IV of Bohemia
  • ( 3 ) son (born and died 11 July 1362)

His fourth wife was Elizabeth of Pomerania (1345 or 1347 – 1393) daughter of Bogislav V. Elizabeth, Duke of Pomerania and King of Poland, was the daughter of King Casimir III of Poland. He had six children.

  • ( 1 ) Anne of Bohemia, Queen of England (1366–1394)
  • ( 2 ) Sigismund of Bohemia (1368–1437)
  • ( 3 ) John of Bohemia (1370–1396)
  • ( 4 ) Charles (13 March 1372 – 24 July 1373)
  • ( 5 ) Margaret of Bohemia, Burgravine of Nuremberg (1373–1410)
  • ( 6 ) Henry (1377–1378)

Charles IV Death

Charles IV died on 29 November 1378. He was 62 years old at the time of his death. Charles IV to St. Vitus was buried in the Cathedral, Prague.

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Interesting Fact

He got his first taste of real war in Italy. where he was with his father in 1331. He got the responsibility only after 2 years. When he was sent to Lucca Italy to strengthen the administration there. He had put in a lot of effort to protect the city. And a castle and the city of Monte Carlo were founded.

He also began administering the Bohemian lands in 1333 due to his father’s deteriorating eyesight and his constant absence from the court. These early experiences shaped him into an effective ruler in the future. He was officially recognized as the heir to his father’s throne. As in ‘Margrave of Moravia’. He took over the reign of Tyrol on his brother’s behalf and was deeply involved in later attempts to capture the county.

Charles entered Italy without an army in 1354. in order to ensure that the authority of the House of Bohemia is being recognized. He had received the Iron Crown of Lombardy and the Royal Crown in Rome in early 1355. He also received the title of ‘Holy Roman Emperor’. He took the crown and then returned to Prague. The Italians were grappling with their own internal problems.

Charles was a great scholar and hence the first thing he did asking. He was overseeing the construction of the university. He was the first in Central Europe. He also ordered the construction of Karlstein Castle. This was the place where the ornament of the royal crown and the emblem of Bohemia were to be kept.


Q: What is Charles IV Height?

A: 175 cm

Q: What is Charles IV’s father’s name?

A: John of Bohemia

Q: Which city was made the capital of the Holy Roman Empire by Charles IV?

A: Prague

Q: What is Charles IV known for?

A: Charles IV is known to have ruled as King of Bohemia from 1346 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1355.

Q: Who ruled after Charles IV?

A: Philip II