Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (1576–1612) and ruler over parts of the Habsburg Monarchy (Hungary 1572–1608; the Bohemian Lands 1575/76–1608 and 1611; the Archduchy of Austria 1575/76–1608)
Born in Vienna on 18 July 1552
Died in Prague on 20 January 1612
Motto: ‘Fulget Caesaris Astrum – The star of Caesar blazes forth’
Rudolf II had grown up in Spain. After his accession to the throne he moved his residence from Vienna to Prague, which subsequently enjoyed a political and cultural heyday. Rudolf promoted the arts and sciences. He commissioned the Habsburg ‘House Crown’, which became the insigne of the Austrian Empire in 1804. Politically his influence waned and in the famous Habsburg ‘fraternal quarrel’ (Bruderzwist) he finally had to yield power to his younger brother Matthias.