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CHARLES I of Spain and V of Germany (1500-1558)

Felipe de Habsburgo´s (the beauty) son and Juana la Loca´s (the mad), he was king of Spain from the year 1516 till the year 1556 and emperor of the Sacre Roma-Germanic Empire from the year 1519 till the year 1558.

Picture of Charles V

The marital politics of his grandparents, his father´s death and his mother´s incapacity gave him the inheritance of four different dinasties.

His grandfather Maximiliano left him the centro-european territories from Austria and the rights for the Empire, from his granmother Maria de Borgoña, he inherited the Netherlands, from Fernando el Católico he obtain the reigns of "La Corona de Aragon", besides, Sicilia and Naples, and from his grandmother Isabel I "La Corona de Castilla", the Canaries and all the new discovered and undiscovered World.

Carlos´ childhood transcurred in the Flemish court and he was educated by Adriano de Utrecht.

In the year 1515 he took charge of the government from the Netherlands, and Guillermo de Croÿ, lord of Chièvres, took it during a period of time. When his grandfather Fernando died in 1516, he became king of Spain, and in 1519 he became Emperor.

His arrival to Spain created a great discomfort because of his youth, his flemish education and his foreign consellors.

In 1519 a series of political reivindications united, giving place to the rebolt of the Communities (1520-1521).

Carlos V sword

Carlos V sword

The principal Castilian cities, dominated by nobelty and burgues oligarquies, united in a rebolt that adquired social and political shades. The memorial of agraves, ( Constitution of Avila), destinated to the king, collected the aspirations of the communers. The communers were defeated in the battle of Villalar (1521) what meant the summission of Castille. Since then, the Courts gave up the biggest part of their antique political prerrogatives, limiting their functions to tributal matters: the castilian pecheros had to support the weight of the Empire.

Practically at the same time, they took place in Valencia the rebolts of the Germania or Christian brotherhoods that reflected the protest against the power of the nobelty and their moriscs vasalles, although indirectly they were also a movement of resistence to the Corone. Their destruction (1521-1524) became another victory for their power.

In the fact of the wars, the conflict with France will endure itself when the French felt surrounded by the inmense imperial domains, besides taking into account the territorial reivindications of Francisco I over Navarra and the Rosellon and of Charles over Borgoña and Milan, as well as the incompatibility of a national French conscience with every european supranational leadership and the personal rivalties of both monarchs.

Galera with which Carlos V defeated the French.

In 1521 it happened the first conflict, where Spain got hold of the power of Navarra, and it was definitely for Spain. Francisco I occupied personally the Milanesado, being defeated and imprissoned in Pavia, he promised to hand Borgoña and to retire from Milan. Not carrying out his purposes, they resumed the fights till the Peace of Crépy (1544) which practically confirmed the clauses of Cambrai(1529), where Francisco I recognized the soberanity of Charles V over Artois and Flandes and he retired his aspirations over Milan and Naples, while Charles I abandoned Borgoña. 

The fighting with the Turkish ocurred without wait. In Centro-Europe they were dedicated in maintain the turkish attacks, without continuing with the contraoffense. Because of this, Charles had to fight in the Occidental Mediterranean and he had to enter in the Oriental one, attaining to finish the conquer of Tunez (1535), although his defeat in Argel(1541) strengthened the berberiscs positions.

His definitive defeat came after the appearance of protestantism in Germany, that besides conecting with the spiritual anxieties, it united economical and political interests contraries to the imperial, reformist and centralist programmes, and it divided the Empire into catholics and reformers.


Carlos V and his cut with Lutero.

Charles the first decided to act with power against the protestants, who had formed the Ligue of Emalcalda. He obtained the victory in the battle of Mühlberg(1547), althought he didn`t obtain the political nor the religious union. For this reason he began to abdicate. He maintained his imperial title till the 12th September, but he gave up to his son Felipe- the next king Felipe II- the Netherlands (1555) and Spain (1556) and he retired to the Monastery of Yuste.

At the present time the Palace of Carlos V can be visited in the city of Granada, of great arquitéctonica and aesthetic beauty.

Old photography of the central patio of the palace of Carlos V in Granada.


If you want you can see the Carlos V sword and the Carlos V shield in our web with a great selection of historic swords.

Carlos V sword, Aceros de Hispania.



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