Habsburg (or Hapsburg) was the name of one of the ruling houses of Europe: rulers of Austria (as dukes 1282 - 1453, archdukes 1453 - 1804, and emperors 1804 - 1918), kings of Spain (1516 - 1700), and Holy Roman Emperors for several centuries to 1806. The name is derived from the Swiss Habichtsburg (Hawk Castle), the family seat in the 12th and 13th centuries at Habsburg, Switzerland. From South-East-Germany the family extended its influence and holdings to the eastern reaches of the Holy Roman Empire, roughly today's Austria (1278 - 1382). Within only two or three generations, the Habsburgs had managed to secure an initially intermittent grasp on the imperial throne that would last for centuries (1273 - 1291, 1298 - 1308, 1438 - 1740, and 1745 - 1806).
Flag of the Habsburg Monarchy; also used as the flag of the Austrian Empire until the Ausgleich of 1867.
After the marriage of Maximilian I with Mary, heiress of Burgundy (the Low Countries) and the marriage of his son Philipp the Fair with Juana, heiress of Spain and its newly-founded empire, Charles V inherited an empire where "the sun does not set".
The Spanish Habsburgs died out in 1700 (prompting the War of the Spanish Succession), as did the Austrian Habsburgs in 1740 (prompting the War of the Austrian Succession). However, the heiress of the last Austrian Habsburg (Maria Theresa) had married Francis Stephen Duke of Lorraine, and their descendents carried on the Habsburg tradition from Vienna under the dynastic name Habsburg-Lorraine. It is speculated that extensive intra-family marriages within both lines contributed to their extinctions.
In 1806 the Holy Roman Empire was wound up under the French Emperor Napoleon I's reorganisation of Germany. However, in anticipation of the loss of his title of Holy Roman Emperor, Francis II declared himself hereditary Emperor of Austria in 1806, two years after Napoleon declared himself Emperor of France in 1804. [The dates are a bit iffy here]
Emperor Francis I of Austria used the official great title: "We, Francis the First, by the grace of God Emperor of Austria; King of Jerusalem, Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Galicia, and Lodomiria; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Lorraine, Salzburg, Würzburg, Franconia, Styria, Carinthia, and Carniola ; Grand Duke of Cracow; Prince of Transylvania; Margrave of Moravia; Duke of Sandomir, Masovia, Lublin, Upper and Lower Silesia, Auschwitz and Zator, Teschen, and Friule; Prince of Berchtesgaden and Mergentheim; Princely Count of Habsburg, Gorizia, and Gradisca and of the Tyrol; and Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia and Istria".
Hungary, nominally under Habsburg kingship from 1526 but mostly under Ottoman Turkish occupation for 150 years, was reconquered in 1683 - 1699. In 1867 effective autonomy was given to Hungary under the terms of the Ausgleich "compromise". (see Austria-Hungary) until the Habsburgs' deposition from both Austria and Hungary in 1918 following defeat in World War I.
Holy Roman Emperors of the House of Habsburg
- Rudolph I, emperor 1273 - 1291
- Albert I, emperor 1298 - 1308
- Albert II, emperor 1438 - 1439
- Frederick III, emperor 1440 - 1493
- Maximilian I, emperor 1493 - 1519
- Charles V, emperor 1519 - 1556
- Ferdinand I, emperor 1556 - 1564
- Maximilian II, emperor 1564 - 1576
- Rudolph II, emperor 1576 - 1612
- Matthias, emperor 1612 - 1619
- Ferdinand II, emperor 1619 - 1637
- Ferdinand III, emperor 1637 - 1657
- Leopold I, emperor 1658 - 1705
- Josef I, emperor 1705 - 1711
- Charles VI, emperor 1711 - 1740
Habsburg-Lorraine (Lothringen) Emperors
- Francis I Stephen, emperor 1745 - 1765
- Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, emperor 1765 - 1790
- Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor, emperor 1790 - 1792
- Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor 1792 - 1806, Emperor of Austria as Francis I 1804 - 1835
- Ferdinand I of Austria, emperor of Austria 1835 - 1848
- Franz Josef of Austria, emperor of Austria 1848 - 1916; King Francis Joseph of Hungary from 1867 - sometimes referred to in English as "Francis Joseph"
- Karl of Austria, emperor of Austria 1916 - 1918; King Charles IV of Hungary - sometimes referred to in English as "Charles". He died in exile in 1922.
- Philip I 1506 (only King of Castile)
- Charles I 1516-1556
- Philip II 1556-1598
- Philip III 1598-1621
- Philip IV 1621-1665
- Charles II 1665-1700
- Francis Stephen 1737-1765
- Leopold I 1765-1790
- Ferdinand III 1790-1800, 1814-1824
- Leopold II 1824-1849, 1849-1859
- Ferdinand IV 1859
- Francis IV 1814-1831, 1831-1846
- Francis V 1846-1848, 1849-1859
- Maria Luisa 1814-1847