Charles IV – Czech King and Holy Roman Emperor (1316-1378)

Charles IV was the eldest son of King John of Bohemia who died at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. After the death of Wenceslas III who was the last king of the Přemyslid dynasty, Jindřich Korutanský was elected and after him the Luxembourgs. The father of Charles IV was Jan Luxembourg who was a typical medieval knight but he neglected Czech lands so it was up to his son to buy the pledges back and make the flourishing country of the Czech kingdom again.

The importance of the king Charles IV

Wenceslas – future Czech kings Charles IV was educated in France. When his father died at the battle of Crécy in 1346, Charles IV became Czech king. During his reign the Prague bishopric was elevated to an archbishopric and in 1348 Charles University (it used to served as a training ground for bureaucrats and lawyers as well) was founded and became the oldest university in Central Europe. And thus Prague became an intellectual and also cultural centre of Central Europe too.

The other important deed was the founding of New Town and Charles Bridge Prague (which replaces the older and damaged Judith Bridge). The reconstruction of St. Vitus Cathedral started and a lot of castles were built, one of them was famous Karlštejn also named after his founder.

Charles IV and Holy Roman Emperor

In 1355 Charles IV was crowned as a Holy Roman Emperor and in 1356 he issued a Golden Bull for the Empire. As he prevents tension with the nobility he was able to make concessions and formulated a state legal code named the Maiestas Carolina. Throughout his reign the church was the main source of support for Charles IV and thus his influence increased.