Regent of the Netherlands from 1506 and 1515; from 1516 as Charles I king of Spain; as Charles V from 1519 at first king, then from 1530 emperor of the Holy Roman Empire until his abdication in 1556.
Born in Ghent (Belgium) on 24 February 1500
Died at San Jerónimo de Yuste (Spain) on 21 September 1558
Motto: ‘plus ultra – further still’
Charles V was one of the most powerful European rulers of all times, reigning over territories in Europe and the Americas. In his European dominions he had to deal with the challenges of the religious conflicts between Catholicism and Protestantism. He also waged numerous wars against France and the Ottoman Empire. When he finally abdicated as emperor, the title passed to the Austrian Habsburgs.