Kings & Queens of Bohemia

Bohemia was an early proponent of religious reform – the Hussite movement, a proto-Protestant group arose there in the late fourteenth century, but, unlike in the rest of Europe where similar movements were suppressed, religious tolerance was instituted in 1436, although the Catholic Church again came to the fore. In 1471, aged fifteen, Vladislaus, son of Casimir IV of Poland-Lithuania was elected as king. He was a weak monarch, much to the delight of the Bohemian nobles, who increased their power at royal expense. He was invited to take the crown of Hungary in 1490, and thereafter ruled both kingdoms. His son, Louis, and daughter, Anna, were married to the grandchildren of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian.

Louis succeeded to the crown in 1513, but was killed at the Battle of Mohacs in 1526. The Bohemian nobles accepted the transfer of the crown to Ferdinand of Austria, husband of Anna. Thenceforward, Bohemia was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperors until 1617, when the Protestant nobility invited Frederick V, Elector Palatine (and son-in-law of James VI & I of Great Britain) to take the throne. The disastrous attempt to free Bohemia from the Hapsburgs sparked the horrific Thirty Years’ War, in which it is estimated that as much as 40 per cent of the population of the various German states died.

Monarch Dates of Reign Spouse(s)

Matthias I – part of Bohemia
(King of Poland)

1469 – 6 April 1490

Catherine of Prodebady

Beatrice of Naples

Vladislaus II – part of Bohemia

(King of Poland)
22 August 1471 – 13 March 1516

Barbara of Brandenburg
Beatrice of Naples

Anne of Foix-Candale

Louis II

(King of Hungary)
13 March 1516 – 29 August 1526 Mary of Austria

Maximilian II

(Holy Roman Emperor)
25 July 1564 – 12 October 1576 Maria of Spain

Rudolf II

(Holy Roman Emperor)
12 October 1576 – 20 January 1612

Matthias II

(Holy Roman Emperor)
13 June 1612 – 20 March 1619 Anne of Austria

Ferdinand II

(Holy Roman Emperor)
28 August 1619 – 15 February 1637

Maria Anna of Bavaria

Eleonora Gonzaga of Mantua