Charles II, Archduke of Austria
|Archduke of Inner Austria|
|Reign||25 July 1564 – 10 July 1590|
|Born||3 June 1540|
|Died||10 July 1590 (aged 50)|
|Spouse||Maria Anna of Bavaria|
|Father||Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor|
|Mother||Anna of Bohemia and Hungary|
Charles II Francis of Austria (German: Karl II. Franz von Innerösterreich) (3 June 1540 – 10 July 1590) was an Archduke of Austria and ruler of Inner Austria (Styria, Carniola, Carinthia and Gorizia) from 1564. He was a member of the House of Habsburg.
A native of Vienna, he was the third son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, and Anne of Bohemia and Hungary, daughter of King Vladislaus II of Hungary and his wife Anne of Foix-Candale. In 1559 and again from 1564–1568 there were negotiations for a marriage between Charles and Elizabeth I of England. Emperor Ferdinand I expected Elizabeth to promise in the proposed marriage treaty that Charles, as her widower, would succeed her if she died childless. The negotiations dragged on until Queen Elizabeth decided that she would not marry the Archduke; religion was the main obstacle to the match, apart from the Queen's character. In 1563, Charles was also a suitor of Mary, Queen of Scots, with her uncle Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, advising her to marry Charles in order to obtain assistance in governing Scotland. Mary, however, disagreed, as did Charles's older brother Maximilian.
Unlike his brother, Emperor Maximilian II, Charles was a religious Catholic and promoted the Counter-Reformation, e.g. by inviting the Jesuits to his territory. However, in 1572, he had to make significant concessions to the Inner Austrian Estates in the Religious Pacifications of Graz, and 1578 and the Libellum of Bruck. In practice, this resulted in tolerance towards Protestantism.
As the Inner Austrian line had to bear the major burden of the wars against the Turks, the fortress of Karlstadt/Karlovac in Croatia was founded in 1579 and named after him. Charles is also remembered as a benefactor of the arts and sciences. In particular, the composer Orlando di Lasso was one of his protégés, as was the music theorist Lodovico Zacconi.
In 1573, Charles founded the Akademisches Gymnasium in Graz, the oldest secondary school in Styria. In 1580, Charles founded a stud for horses of Andalusian origin in Lipica, Slovenia, thereby playing a leading role in the creation of the Lipizzan breed. In 1585, Charles founded the University of Graz, which is named Karl-Franzens-Universität after him.
He died at Graz in 1590.
Charles's mausoleum in Seckau Abbey, in which other members of the Habsburg family are also buried, is one of the most important edifices of the early Baroque in the South-Eastern Alps. It was built from 1587 onwards by Alessandro de Verda and completed by Sebastiano Carlone by 1612.
Marriage and children
In Vienna on 26 August 1571 Charles married his niece Maria Anna of Bavaria. They had fifteen children:
- Ferdinand (b. Judenburg, 15 July 1572 – d. Judenburg, 3 August 1572).
- Anne (b. Graz, 16 August 1573 – d. Warsaw, 10 February 1598), married on 31 May 1592 to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Sweden.
- Maria Christina (b. Graz, 10 November 1574 – d. Hall in Tirol, 6 April 1621), married on 6 August 1595 to Sigismund Bathory, Prince of Transylvania; they divorced in 1599.
- Catherine Renata (b. Graz, 4 January 1576 – d. Graz, 29 June 1599).
- Elisabeth (b. Graz, 13 March 1577 – d. Graz, 29 January 1586).
- Ferdinand (b. Graz, 9 July 1578 – d. Vienna, 15 February 1637), Holy Roman Emperor as Ferdinand II in 1619.
- Charles (b. Graz, 17 July 1579 – d. Graz, 17 May 1580).
- Gregoria Maximiliana (b. Graz, 22 March 1581 – d. Graz, 20 September 1597).
- Eleanor (b. Graz, 25 September 1582 – d. Hall in Tirol, 28 January 1620), a nun.
- Maximilian Ernest (b. Graz, 17 November 1583 – d. Graz, 18 February 1616), Teutonic Knight.
- Margaret (b. Graz, 25 December 1584 – d. El Escorial 3 October 1611), married on 18 April 1599 to Philip III, King of Spain.
- Leopold (b. Graz, 9 October 1586 – d. Schwaz, 13 September 1632), Archduke of Further Austria and Count of Tirol.
- Constance (b. Graz, 24 December 1588 – d. Warsaw, 10 July 1631), married on 11 December 1605 to Sigismund III Vasa, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Sweden (widower of her older sister).
- Maria Magdalena (b. Graz, 7 October 1589 – d. Padua, 1 November 1631), married on 19 October 1608 Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.
- Charles, the Posthumous (b. Graz, 7 August 1590 – d. Madrid, 28 December 1624), Bishop of Wroclaw and Brixen (1608–24), Grand Master of the Teutonic Order (1618–24).
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