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Sovereigns over the czech lands and Prague Castle

Era of Princes of the Přemyslid Dynasty

  • Bořivoj (880-894) – the first Christian Prince in Bohemia; resided in Prague Castle; founded the Church of the Virgin Mary
  • Spytihněv (894-915) – released the Czech Lands from the hegemony of the Great Moravian Empire
  • Vratislav I (915-921) – founded St. George’s Church in the Prague Castle area (after around 910)
  • St. Wenceslas (921-935) – founded St. Vitus’ Rotunda in the Prague Castle area (approx. 926); was consecrated
  • Boleslav I (935-967) – built the early Czech state and enlarged its territory; supported Otto I in the wars against the Hungarian army at the battle of Lech (955)
  • Boleslav II (967-999) – founded the Prague Bishopric and St. George’s Benedictine Convent; united the empire and enlarged its territory; massacred the Slavníkovec House (995)
  • Boleslav III (999-1002, 1003)
  • Vladivoj (1002-1003) – came from the Piastovec dynasty (relatives of the Přemyslid dynasty)
  • Boleslav the Valiant (1003-1004) – a Polish Prince from the Piastovec dynasty (the grandson of Boleslav I)
  • Jaromír (1003/4-1012, 1034), Oldřich (1012-1034)
  • Břetislav (1034-1055) – brought St. Vojtěch’s remains from Poland; introduced the succession order of Czech rulers
  • Spytihněv II (1055-1061) – constructed St. Vitus’ Cathedral (the Basilica of Spytihněv)
  • Vratislav II (1061-1092) – was awarded the title of the Czech King in 1085 (for himself)
  • Konrád I of Brno (1092), Břetislav II (1092-1100), Oldřich of Brno (1100)
  • Bořivoj II (1101-1107, 1117-1120), Svatopluk (1107-1109), Vladislav I (1109-1125)
  • Soběslav I (1125-1140) – began to reconstruct Prague Castle
  • Vladislav II (1140-1173) - was awarded the title of the Czech King in 1158 (as a reward for his help in the crusade against Milan)
  • Soběslav II (1173-1178) – finished the reconstruction of Prague Castle
  • Oldřich (1173), Bedřich (1172-1173, 1178-1189)
  • Konrád III Ota (1189-1191) – issued the oldest Legal Code written in the Czech language (known as the Statute of Konrád Ota)
  • Václav II (1191), Jindřich Břetislav (1193-1197), Vladislav Jindřich (1197)

Era of Kings of Přemyslid Dynasty and the Time of Prosperity

  • Přemysl Otakar I (1192-1193, 1197-1230) – gained the hereditary title of Czech King (1198); 1212 rights of the Czech Kingdom were ratified
  • Václav I (1230-1253) – political, economic, and cultural prosperity
  • Přemysl Otakar II (1253-1278) – the “King of Gold and Iron”; economic prosperity; founded numerous towns in Bohemia and Austria; founded the Land Court
  • Václav II (1283-1305) – king of the Czech Lands and Poland; Czech kings gained the elector’s title; started to coin Prague Groschens (1300)
  • Václav III (1305-1306) – king of Czech Lands, Poland and Hungary (Ladislav V); the Přemyslid dynasty died out after his assassination

Era of the Luxembourg Dynasty and the Beginning of the Czech Reformation

  • Jindřich of Carinthia (1306, 1307-1311), Rudolf of Habsburg (1306)
  • Jan of Luxembourg (1310-1346) – king of the Czech Lands and Poland; prioritized foreign policy; was killed at the battle of Crécy
  • Karel IV (1346-1378) – king of the Czech and German Lands; Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire since 1355; a leading European sovereign of the late Middle Ages; founded many institutions; supported the development of Prague and Prague Castle; issued the Golden Bulla code (the code of law of the Holy Roman Empire); issued the coronation order
  • Václav IV (1378-1419) – king of the Czech Lands and Rome; conflicts with high nobility (Noblemen Union) and the church; supported the reformation tendencies of the church
  • Zikmund of Luxembourg (1419-1437) – king of Hungary (from 1387), king of Rome (from 1410), king of the Czech Lands (from 1419), Roman Emperor (from 1433); tried to reform the church; organized crusades
  • Albrecht II of Habsburg (1437-1439), Ladislav the Posthumous (1453-1457)
  • Jiří of Poděbrady (1458-1471) – efforts to create a union of European sovereigns to solve conflicts in a peaceful way; first wars with the Hungarian king Matthias Korvin

Era of the Jagellonian Dynasty

  • Vladislav II (1471-1516) – king of the Czech Lands, king of Hungary (from 1490; he resided in Budin = Budapest from that time on); period of the so-called “Vladislav Gothic era”
  • Ludvík (1516-1526) – king of the Czech Lands and Hungary; died at the battle of Mohacs

Era of the Habsburg Dynasty

  • Ferdinand I of Habsburg (1526-1562) – king of the Czech Lands and Hungary, king of Rome (from 1531), German-Roman Emperor (from 1556); centralization and re-catholicization tendencies
  • Maximilian II (1562-1575) – king of the Czech and German Lands, king of Hungary (since 1563), Roman Emperor (since 1564); beginning of religious liberty
  • Rudolf II (1575-1611) – Prague became the Emperor’s seat and the center of late-Mannerism
  • Mathias (1611-1617) – Vienna became the sovereign’s permanent seat
  • Ferdinand II (1617-1619, 1620-1627) – suppressed the Uprising of the Czech Estates, gained absolute power, the Czech Lands became the hereditary possession of the Habsburg Dynasty
  • Friedrich of Paletinate (1619-1620) – was elected Czech King by the rebellious Czech Estates (called “the Winter King”)
  • Ferdinand III (1627-1646, 1654-1656) – forcible re-catholicization
  • Ferdinand IV (1646-1654), Leopold I (1656-1705), Josef I (1705-1711)
  • Charles VI (1711-1740) – pragmatic sanctions (gained succession for the Habsburg-Lorraine Dynasty)
  • Maria Theresa (1740-1780) – introduced reforms (e.g. compulsory education); grand-scale reconstruction of Prague Castle
  • Josef II (1780-1790) – liberal absolutist; introduced reforms (e.g. the Patent of Tolerance – guaranteed freedom of faith, abolition of serfdom)
  • Leopold II (1791-1792)
  • František I (1792-1835) – the Holy Roman Empire split up; the Austro-Hungarian Empire still existed
  • Ferdinand I (the Benevolent) (1835-1848) – the last sovereign to be crowned Czech King
  • František Josef I (1848-1916) – the sovereign who ruled for the longest time
  • Karel I (1916-1918)

Presidents since the proclamation of the Czechoslovak Republic (1918)

  • Czechoslovak Republic: Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk (1918-1935), Edvard Beneš (1935-1938, 1945-1948)
  • Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia (occupation by Nazi Germany): Emil Hácha (1938-1945)
  • Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (communist dictatorship): Klement Gottwald (1948-1953), Antonín Zápotocký (1953-1957), Antonín Novotný (1957-1968), Ludvík Svoboda (1968-1975), Gustáv Husák (1975-1989)
  • Czechoslovak Federal Republic and Czech Republic after November 1989: Václav Havel (1989-2003), Václav Klaus (since 2003)