*1527 (Vienna, Austria), †1576 (Regensburg, Germany)
King of Bohemia and member of the Habsburg dynasty; son of Ferdinand I of Habsburg, father of Rudolf II and Matthias I. He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia in 1562 and in 1563 he succeeded to the Hungarian throne. His reign began on the death of his father in 1564. His primary concern was to stabilize internal relations within the Habsburg lands. He allowed freedom of religion in the Czech lands in return for support from the Czech nobility for the succession of his son, Rudolf II to the crown of Bohemia, but no written agreement confirming the equality of protestantism was ever signed. However, the Czech nobility did manage to reinforce its position during Rudolf’s reign. He is buried in St. Vitus’ Cathedral.