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Karel IV.

photo:  (p-numismatika.cz)

(1316 – 1378)


A Czech King and Roman Emperor. His father was the Czech King John the Blind (1296 – 1346) and his mother was Queen Elisabeth of Bohemia.

He was brought up in France at the royal court. During the period from 1331 – 1333 his father sent him to represent the Luxembourg dynasty in its Italian domains, from 1333 he was the Margrave of Moravia and his father’s representative in the Bohemian Kingdom. In 1346 he became the Czech and Roman King and in 1355 he was crowned Emperor of the Roman Empire.

He founded Charles University in 1348, the Prague Archbishopric in 1344, as well as many monasteries and nunneries; he intentionally improved Prague as the central residence of his Empire. He had many castles built, for instance Karlstejn, he also built Charles Bridge, the Cathedral of Saint Vitus, he founded Prague’s New Town, he improved Prague Castle with its Old Royal Palace and impressed both the nobility and the townspeople with his activities.

He was also active in literature when he wrote his own biography (Vita Caroli) and the legend of Saint Catherine. During his life he was married four times (Blanche of Valois, Anna of Bavaria, Anna von Schweidnitz and Elisabeth of Pomerania) and his most distinguished children included the Czech and Roman King Wenceslas IV (1378 – 1419) and Sigmund of Luxembourg (Hungarian King from 1387 – 1437, Czech King from 1419 – 1437, Roman King from 1411-1436, Roman Emperor from 1436 – 1437). Vojtěch Raňkov called Charles IV the Father of the Nation during his funeral speech in 1378, due to his contributions to the Bohemian Kingdom.



Added: 28.12.2009

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