Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, also called King Carlos I of Spain (24 February 1500 - 21 September 1558) was a powerful European monarch of the 16th century, member of the House of Hapsburg. During his lifetime he acquired a very large empire on continental Europe through various means, including inheritance of monarchical titles, election, and annexation by military force or the threat thereof. The areas he ruled had few cultural or economic ties and did not coalesce into a cohesive political unit. Nonetheless, he maintained control of each of them throughout his lifetime, and in many cases his descendants continued to rule for decades or even centuries to come.
As Carlos I, Charles was the first monarch of a united Spain. He also ruled Italy, the Holy Roman Empire, Burgundy, and the Low Countries. He also had suzerainty over Spain's fairly substantial colonial empire in the Americas. He was titular King of Jerusalem until abdicating in favor of his daughter-in-law Mary I of England, but the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem had been defunct for well over 200 years by the time he acquired that title.
In 1556, Charles made the unusual decision to abdicate his kingdoms and retire to a secluded monastery. He was succeeded in Spain by his son Philip II and in the HRE by his brother Ferdinand I.
Duke of Brabant, Limburg, Lothier and Luxembourg, Count of Artois, Burgundy, Flanders, Hainaut, Holland, Namur and Zeeland after 1549 Ruler of the Seventeen Provinces of the Habsburg Netherlands Count Palatine of Burgundy 1506-1555
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