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Charles IV (Prague, 14 May 1316 - Prague, 29 November 1378) was King of Bohemia from 1346 to 1378 and Emperor of Holy Roman Empire from 1355 to 1378.

Codex Entry

1+5.1316 — 29.11.1378

Charles IV of Luxembourg, born Wenceslas, son of King John of Luxembourg, was the second member of the Luxembourg dynasty to become King of Bohemia (1346 — 1378) and the first to attain the title Holy Roman Emperor (1355 - 1378). He held many other titles besides: Margrave of Moravia, Count of Luxembourg, King of Italy, King of the Romans and King of Burgundy.

Renowned for his diplomatic skills and erudition, he actively endeavoured to consolidate his position and ensure the survival of his line in Europe, especially in Bohemia, Moravia and Germany. He was well-versed in several languages and at the French court he was tutored by none other than the future pope, Clement VI.

During his reign, Prague and the lands of the Bohemian Crown underwent a major transformation, becoming a powerful political, economic and cultural centre. For this reason, this period of his reign is known as the Golden Age. He initiated the construction of many superb edifices, which thus bear his name, including Charles University, Charles Bridge and Karlstein Castle. He was keen to emphasise the role of religious faith in society. He renewed the cults of St. Wenceslas, St. Sigismund and St. Vitus, consecrating various Church buildings to them, among others Prague Cathedral.

He married four times and had thirteen children, most of whom died in infancy. The most illustrious of his offspring were his sons Wenceslas and Sigismund, who both became rulers over the lands of the Bohemian Crown.

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