Maximilian I, 'the last knight'
from 1477 Duke of Burgundy; from 1493 ruler over the Habsburg patrimonial lands; from 1486 Roman-German King, and from 1508 emperor of the Holy Roman Empire
Born in Wiener Neustadt (Lower Austria) on 22 March 1459
Died in Wels (Upper Austria) on 12 January 1519
‘Per tot discrimina rerum – Through many perilous adventures’
With his policies of war and marriage, Emperor Maximilian I laid the foundations upon which the Habsburgs rose to become a great power. His principal residence was at Innsbruck, which was expanded during his reign. In addition to extending his power base, he promoted science and the arts. He also dictated two autobiographical works which attest to his stylization of himself as the ‘last knight’. At his death he left behind a mountain of debts.