*1503 (Alcalá de Henares, Spain), †1564 (Vienna, Austria)
A Czech king of the Habsburg dynasty and father of Maxmilian II. He was King of Hungary and Bohemia from 1526 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1556. By connecting Bohemia and Hungary he created the Danubian Monarchy. During his forty year reign over Bohemia, he tried to strengthen the power of the crown at the expense of the estates, promoting the centralisation of power and recatholicization. These attempts led to an increase in opposition from the estates, culminating in an uprising by the Bohemian estates between 1546 and 47, which he suppressed, after which the municipal authorities were made subject to his son Ferdinand II. In 1556 Ferdinand I invited the Jesuits to Prague. He is interred in St. Vitus’ cathedral.