Archduke of Austria; from 1636 Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and ruler over the Habsburg Monarchy to his death in 1657
Born in Graz on 13 July 1608
Died in Vienna on 2 April 1657
Motto: ‘Pietate et iustitia – By piety and justice’
Ferdinand was introduced to political duties at an early age. During the Thirty Years’ War, after the murder of the military commander Wallenstein, he was nominally entrusted with command of the imperial forces. His position strengthened by a number of military victories, he was elected Roman King shortly before the death of his father, Ferdinand II. He succeeded him as emperor and endeavoured to bring about peace. Ferdinand was a keen patron of the arts and was the first Habsburg emperor to compose music.