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Ferdinand V the Good

*1793 (Vienna, Austria), †1875 (Prague)

The last Czech king and a member of the Habsburg-Lorraine dynasty. He suffered from epileptic fits and rickets from an early age, and was, to an extent, feeble-minded, although not as weakminded, as is often documented – he was involved in music, spoke five languages, was interested in technical matters and botany. However, even though limited by his handicap, he became the Hungarian king in 1830, Austrian emperor in 1835 (although matters of state were dealt with through a regent’s council consisting of Ferdinand‘s uncle, the Grand Duke Louis, Prince Klemens von Metternich and Count Franz Anton Kolowrat) , and in 1836 was crowned King of Bohemia in Prague (the last coronation in Czech history). After a series of revolts, which in 1848 removed a sizeable part of the monarchy, he was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Franz Joseph I. He lived at Prague castle for the rest of his life, where he occupied an entire wing of the second courtyard, and in the Ploskovice and Zakupy castles. He received his epithet, “the Good” for his kind and cordial behaviour. The people of Prague liked him, they would often see him on Narodni Trida, where he went for his everyday walk, giving sweets to children and donating to the poor. He invested much various projects in Prague. Ferdinand’s remains are interred in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.

 

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