Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand III (13 July 1608 – 2 April 1657) was Holy Roman Emperor from 15 February 1637 until his death, as well as King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria.

Ferdinand III
Jan van den Hoecke - Portrait of Emperor Ferdinand III
Portrait by Jan van den Hoecke, c. 1643
Holy Roman Emperor
King of Germany
Reign18 November 1637 – 2 April 1657
Coronation18 November 1637
PredecessorFerdinand II
SuccessorLeopold I
Archduke of Lower and Inner Austria
Reign15 February 1637 – 2 April 1657
PredecessorFerdinand III
SuccessorLeopold I
King of Bohemia
Reign21 November 1627 – 2 April 1657
Coronation21 November 1627, Prague
PredecessorFerdinand II
SuccessorLeopold I
King of Hungary and Croatia
Reign8 December 1625 – 2 April 1657
Coronation8 December 1625, Sopron[1]
PredecessorFerdinand II
SuccessorLeopold I
Born13 July 1608
Graz, Duchy of Styria, Holy Roman Empire
Died2 April 1657 (aged 48)
Vienna, Archduchy of Austria
Maria Anna of Spain
(m. 1631; died 1646)

Maria Leopoldine of Austria
(m. 1648; died 1649)

Eleonora Gonzaga
(m. 1651)
IssueFerdinand IV of Hungary
Mariana, Queen of Spain
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Archduke Charles Joseph
Eleanor, Queen of Poland
Maria Anna Josepha, Electoral Princess of the Palatinate
FatherFerdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherMaria Anna of Bavaria
ReligionRoman Catholicism


Ferdinand was born in Graz, the eldest son of Emperor Ferdinand II of Habsburg and his first wife, Maria Anna of Bavaria, and was baptised as Ferdinand Ernst. Educated by the Jesuits, he became Archduke of Austria in 1621, King of Hungary in 1625, and King of Bohemia in 1627.

In 1627 Ferdinand enhanced his authority and set an important legal and military precedent by issuing a Revised Land Ordinance that deprived the Bohemian estates of their right to raise soldiers, reserving this power solely for the monarch.[2]

Following the death of Albrecht von Wallenstein (who had previously denied him the overall military command of the Catholic side) in 1634, he was made titular head of the Imperial Army in the Thirty Years' War. Later that year he joined with his cousin, the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand, who was nominally responsible for the capture of Donauwörth and Regensburg, and for the defeat of the Swedes at the Battle of Nördlingen. Leader of the peace party at court, he helped negotiate the Peace of Prague with the Protestant states, especially Saxony in 1635.

Having been elected King of the Romans in 1636, he succeeded his father as Holy Roman Emperor in 1637. He hoped to make peace soon with France and Sweden, but the war dragged on, finally ending in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia (Treaty of Münster with France, Treaty of Osnabrück with Sweden), negotiated by his envoy Maximilian von und zu Trauttmansdorff, a diplomat who had been made a count in 1623 by his father Ferdinand II.

During the last period of the war, in 1644 Ferdinand III gave all rulers of German states the right to conduct their own foreign policy (ius belli ac pacis) – the emperor hoped to gain more allies in the negotiations with France and Sweden. This edict, however, contributed to the gradual erosion of the imperial authority in the Holy Roman Empire.

After 1648 the emperor was engaged in carrying out the terms of the treaty and ridding Germany of the foreign soldiery. In 1656 he sent an army into Italy to assist Spain in her struggle with France, and he had just concluded an alliance with Poland to check the aggressions of Charles X of Sweden when he died on 2 April 1657.

Marriages and children

On 20 February 1631, Ferdinand III married his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain (1606–1646). She was the youngest daughter of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria. They were first cousins, as Maria Anna's mother was a sister of Ferdinand's father. They were parents to six children:

On 2 July 1648 in Linz, Ferdinand III married his second wife, Archduchess Maria Leopoldine of Austria (1632–1649). She was a daughter of Leopold V, Archduke of Austria, and Claudia de' Medici. They were first cousins as male-line grandchildren of Charles II, Archduke of Austria, and Maria Anna of Bavaria. They had a single son:

  • Karl Josef, Archduke of Austria (7 August 1649 – 27 January 1664). He was Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights from 1662 to his death.

On 30 April 1651, Ferdinand III married Eleonora Gonzaga. She was a daughter of Charles IV Gonzaga, Duke of Rethel. They were parents to four children:


Ferdinand III was a well-known patron of music and a composer. He studied music under Giovanni Valentini, who bequeathed his musical works to him, and had close ties with Johann Jakob Froberger, one of the most important keyboard composers of the 17th century. Froberger lamented the emperor's death and dedicated to him one of his most celebrated works, Lamentation faite sur la mort très douloureuse de Sa Majesté Impériale, Ferdinand le troisième; a tombeau for Ferdinand III's death was composed by the renowned violinist Johann Heinrich Schmelzer. Some of Ferdinand's own compositions survive in manuscripts: masses, motets, hymns and other sacred music, as well as a few secular pieces. His Drama musicum was praised by Athanasius Kircher, and the extant works, although clearly influenced by Valentini, show a composer with an individual style and a solid technique.[3]

Recordings of Ferdinand's compositions include:

Jesu Redemptor Omnium. Deus Tuorum. Humanae Salutis. With Schmelzer: Lamento Sopra La Morte de Ferdinand III. Joseph I: Regina Coeli. Leopold I: Sonata Piena; Laudate Pueri. Wiener Akademie, dir. Martin Haselböck, CPO 1997.
Ferdinand III: Hymnus "Jesu Corona Virginum". On Musik für Gamben-Consort. Klaus Mertens, Hamburger Ratsmusik, dir. Simone Eckert CPO 2010


Hungary 1629 100 Ducats
Ferdinand III depicted on a 100 Ducat gold coin (1629)
Seal of Ferdinand III Holy Roman Emperor
Seal of Ferdinand III.

Ferdinand III, by the grace of God elected Holy Roman Emperor, forever August, King of Germany, King of Hungary, Bohemia, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, Rama, Serbia, Galicia, Lodomeria, Cumania and Bulgaria, Archduke of Austria, Duke of Burgundy, Brabant, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, Margrave of Moravia, Duke of Luxemburg, of the Higher and Lower Silesia, of Württemberg and Teck, Prince of Swabia, Count of Habsburg, Tyrol, Kyburg and Goritia, Marquess of the Holy Roman Empire, Burgovia, the Higher and Lower Lusace, Lord of the Marquisate of Slavonia, of Port Naon and Salines, etc. etc.

See also


  1. ^ Hengerer, Mark (2012). Kaiser Ferdinand III. (1608-1657): Eine Biographie (in German). Wien - Köln - Weimer: Böhlau Verlag. p. 62. ISBN 978-3-205-77765-6.
  2. ^ Rothenburg, G. The Army of Francis Joseph. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1976. p 3.
  3. ^ Lederer, Josef-Horst. "Ferdinand III". In Deane L. Root (ed.). Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. (subscription required)
  4. ^ a b Eder, Karl (1961), "Ferdinand II.", Neue Deutsche Biographie (NDB) (in German), 5, Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 83–85; (full text online)
  5. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria Anna von Bayern" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 7. p. 23 – via Wikisource.
  6. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1860). "Habsburg, Karl II. von Steiermark" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 6. p. 352 – via Wikisource.
  7. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin, von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Maria von Bayern" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). 7. p. 20 – via Wikisource.
  8. ^ a b Sigmund Ritter von Riezler (1897), "Wilhelm V. (Herzog von Bayern)", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB) (in German), 42, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 717–723
  9. ^ a b Cartwright, Julia Mary (1913). Christina of Denmark, Duchess of Milan and Lorraine, 1522-1590. New York: E. P. Dutton. pp. 536–539.


  • Lothar Höbelt, Ferdinand III. (1608–1657). Friedenskaiser wider Willen (Graz: Ares Verlag. 2008), 488 S.

External links

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
Born: 13 July 1608 Died: 2 April 1657
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Ferdinand II
King of Hungary and Croatia
with Ferdinand II (1625–1637)
Ferdinand IV (1647–1654)
Succeeded by
Leopold I
King of Bohemia
with Ferdinand II (1627–1637)
Ferdinand IV (1646–1654)
Holy Roman Emperor
Archduke of Lower and Inner Austria

King in Germany
with Ferdinand II (1636–1637)
Ferdinand IV (1653–1654)
Preceded by
Elizabeth Lucretia
Duke of Teschen
with Ferdinand IV (1653–1654)
1654 in science

The year 1654 in science and technology involved some significant events.

Archduchess Maria Anna Josepha of Austria

Maria Anna Josepha of Austria (30 December 1654 – 14 April 1689), was a Duchess consort of Jülich-Berg and Electoral Princess of the Palatinate.

Born in Regensburg, she was the youngest surviving daughter of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and his third wife Eleonora Gonzaga.

Archduke Charles Joseph of Austria

Charles Joseph (German: Karl Joseph) (7 August 1649 – 27 January 1664) was an Archduke of Austria and Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights (1662–64). He was also the bishop of Olmütz, and Breslau, Passau.

Charles Joseph was born in Vienna as the son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and his first cousin, Maria Leopoldine of Austria. His mother died shortly after giving birth to him. Charles Joseph, himself, died in his early teens in Linz.

Charles Eugene, 2nd Duke of Arenberg

Charles Eugene, 2nd Duke of Arenberg (1633–1681), a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece since 1678, became 2nd Duke of Arenberg in 1674 on the death of his half-brother Philippe François, 1st Duke of Arenberg. The original title had been awarded on 6 June 1644, by Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, making the principality of Arenberg a dukedom of the Austrian Empire..

He married Marie-Henriette de Cusance, marquise de Varambon in 1660. Their two sons Philippe Charles François, 3rd Duke of Arenberg and Alexandre, fell in battle in 1691 and 1683 respectively. He was Grand-Bailli and Capitaine-Général of Hainaut.

Emperor Ferdinand

Emperor Ferdinand may refer to:

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (1503–1564), Holy Roman Emperor from 1558, king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526, and king of Croatia from 1527 until his death

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1578–1637), Holy Roman Emperor 1619–1637, King of Bohemia 1617–1619, 1620–1637, and King of Hungary 1618–1625

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (1608–1657), Holy Roman Emperor from 15 February 1637 until his death, as well as King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia and Archduke of Austria

Ferdinand I of Austria (1793–1875), Emperor of Austria, President of the German Confederation, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia

Ferdinand IV, King of the Romans

Ferdinand IV (8 September 1633 – 9 July 1654) was made and crowned King of Bohemia in 1646, King of Hungary and Croatia in 1647, and King of the Romans on 31 May 1653. He also served as Duke of Cieszyn.

Born in Vienna on 8 September 1633, and baptised as Ferdinand Franz, Ferdinand IV was the eldest son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor and his first wife Maria Anna, the daughter of Philip III of Spain. At a young age, Ferdinand IV took his father's role as Archduke of Austria. In 1646, Ferdinand IV became King of Bohemia as he shared the role with his father Emperor Ferdinand III. He was crowned on 5 August 1646, and also shared the role of Duke of Cieszyn with Ferdinand III. Ferdinand IV also shared the role as King of Hungary and Croatia with his father; his coronation took place on 16 June 1647 in Pressburg, present-day Slovakia.After the French attempted to modify the system of the election of King of the Romans, Emperor Ferdinand III made an opportunity of a recent decline in the prestige of France, and was able to install Ferdinand IV as King of the Romans, and de facto heir to the Holy Roman Empire. He was crowned in Ratisbon (Regensburg, present-day south-east Germany) on 18 June 1653 after gaining the position on 31 May 1653. However, Ferdinand IV unexpectedly died of smallpox in Vienna on 9 July 1654, and was later succeeded by his brother Leopold I as King of the Romans. Prior to his death, it was planned that he would marry Philip IV of Spain's daughter Maria Theresa of Spain, his cousin. Upon the death of Ferdinand III, Leopold I was elected as Holy Roman Emperor.

Ferdinand of Austria

Ferdinand of Austria may refer to:

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (1503 – 1564), Archduke of Austria

Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria (1529 – 1595), son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1578 – 1637), aka Ferdinand III, Archduke of Inner Austria

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (1608 – 1657), Archduke of Austria, son of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand (1609/1610 - 1641)

Ferdinand Charles, Archduke of Austria (1628 – 1662)

Ferdinand I of Austria (1793 – 1875)

Ferdinand of Habsburg

Ferdinand of Habsburg may refer to:

Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor (1503–1564)

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1578–1637)

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (1608–1657)

Ferdinand I of Austria (1793–1875)

Ferdinand Zvonimir von Habsburg (1997)

Il ballo delle ingrate

Il ballo delle ingrate (The Ballet of the Ungrateful Ladies) is a semi-dramatic ballet by the Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi set to a libretto by Ottavio Rinuccini. It was first performed in Mantua on Wednesday, 4 June 1608 as part of the wedding celebrations for Francesco Gonzaga (the son of Monteverdi's patron Duke Vincenzo of Mantua) and Margaret of Savoy. Both Vincenzo and Francesco Gonzaga took part in the dancing. Monteverdi also composed the opera L'Arianna (to another libretto by Rinuccini) and the music for the prologue to Guarini's play L'idropica for the occasion.

Il ballo delle ingrate was published as part of Monteverdi's Eighth Book of Madrigals (Madrigali guerrieri, et amorosi) in 1638. This printed version probably contains revisions Monteverdi made for a revival in Vienna. The virtuosic bass writing for Plutone is closer in style to Monteverdi's late operas than to that of his L'Orfeo (1607). The musicologist Paolo Fabbri believes that the revisions were made for a performance to celebrate the coronation of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor in 1636. The sudden death of the previous emperor meant Monteverdi had to produce music at short notice, so he reworked Il ballo delle ingrate, removing the references to the Mantuan wedding.

Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor

Leopold I (full name: Leopold Ignaz Joseph Balthasar Felician; Hungarian: I. Lipót; 9 June 1640 – 5 May 1705) was Holy Roman Emperor, King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia. The second son of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, by his first wife, Maria Anna of Spain, Leopold became heir apparent in 1654 by the death of his elder brother Ferdinand IV. Elected in 1658, Leopold ruled the Holy Roman Empire until his death in 1705, becoming the longest-ruling Habsburg emperor (at 46 years and 9 months).

Leopold's reign is known for conflicts with the Ottoman Empire in the east and rivalry with Louis XIV, a contemporary and first cousin, in the west. After more than a decade of warfare, Leopold emerged victorious from the Great Turkish War thanks to the military talents of Prince Eugene of Savoy. By the Treaty of Karlowitz, Leopold recovered almost all of the Kingdom of Hungary, which had fallen under Turkish power in the years after the 1526 Battle of Mohács.

Leopold fought three wars against France: the Franco-Dutch War, the Nine Years' War, and the War of the Spanish Succession. In this last, Leopold sought to give his younger son the entire Spanish inheritance, disregarding the will of the late Charles II. Leopold started a war that soon engulfed much of Europe. The early years of the war went fairly well for Austria, with victories at Schellenberg and Blenheim, but the war would drag on until 1714, nine years after Leopold's death, which barely had an effect on the warring nations. When peace returned, Austria could not be said to have emerged as triumphant as it had from the war against the Turks.

Leopold Philip Montecuccoli

Leopold Philip Fürst Montecuccoli (1663 – January 6, 1698) was an Austrian Field Marshal.

Leopold Philip Montecuccoli was the son of the famous Imperial Field Marshal Raimondo Montecuccoli and Maria Margareta von Dietrichstein (1637–1676), daughter of Max von Dietrichstein, Oberhofmeister of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor.

As his father, Leopold Philip entered in the service of the Imperial Habsburg army. When his father died in 1680, he took over command as Colonel of his Cuirassier-Regiment and became later Field Marshal-Lieutenant. He also became captain of the Imperial Trabanten-Leibgarde, Geheimrat and Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece. In 1689 his title was raised to Reichsfürst. In 1695 Montecuccoli purchased a plot of land in the area of Laxenburg in order to establish a summer residence close to the Habsburg-family's castles. This plot was developed further after his death and is nowadays known under the name Palais Kaunitz-Wittgenstein.He married Countess Maria Antonia Colloredo. When he died in 1698 at the age of 35, Philip and Maria had no children, and his title became extinct.


Leopoldine is a given name. Notable people with the name include:

Archduchess Maria Leopoldine of Austria-Este (1776–1848), the second wife of Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria

Leopoldine Blahetka (1809–1885), Austrian pianist and composer

Léopoldine Hugo (1824–1843), daughter of novelist, poet and dramatist Victor Hugo

Leopoldine Konstantin (1886–1965), Austrian actress

Leopoldine Kulka (1872–1920), Austrian writer and editor

Leopoldine von Sternberg (1733–1809), princess consort of Liechtenstein, married to prince Franz Joseph I, Prince of Liechtenstein

Maria Leopoldine of Anhalt-Dessau (born 1746), princess of Anhalt-Dessau by birth and by marriage Countess of Lippe-Detmold

Maria Leopoldine of Austria (1632–1649), Holy Roman Empress as the spouse of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

List of ambassadors of Turkey to Austria

The Turkish Ambassador to Austria has his residence in Vienna.

Maria of Austria

Mary or Maria of Austria may refer to:

Mary of Austria (1505-1558), Queen consort of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia, governor of the Netherlands for her brother, Charles V

Maria of Spain (1528 - 1603), daughter of Charles V and Isabella of Portugal; wife of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor

Archduchess Maria of Austria (1531–1581), daughter of Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand I and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary

Maria Anna of Spain (1606 – 1646), Archduchess of Austria, Infanta of Spain; daughter of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria; wife of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

Archduchess Maria of Austria (disambiguation)

Maximilian von und zu Trauttmansdorff

Maximilian, Freiherr von und zu Trauttmansdorff (23 May 1584, Graz – 8 June 1650, Vienna), (from 1635 Reichsgraf von und zu Trauttmansdorff-Weinsberg) was an Austrian politician of the Thirty Years' War era. His other titles included Freiherr von Gleichenberg, Neuenstadt am Kocher, Negau, Burgau und Totzenbach, Herr zu Teinitz.

He served under Ferdinand II and was Prime Minister of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1619 he arranged the alliance between Ferdinand II and Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria.

The Peace of Nikolsburg in 1621 with Prince Gabriel Bethlen of Transylvania was also his work.

In 1635, he arranged the Peace of Prague with the Electorate of Saxony.

He was the head of the delegation of the Holy Roman Empire for the Peace of Westphalia between 1645 and 1647 but was replaced by Johann Ludwig von Nassau-Hadamar in 1647 when his health deteriorated.

He was a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece, Geheimer Rat, Chancellor and Obersthofmeister.

Treaty of Vienna (1656)

The treaty of Vienna, concluded on 1 December 1656, was an Austro–Polish alliance during the Second Northern War. Habsburg emperor Ferdinand III agreed to enter the war on the anti-Swedish side and support the Polish king John II Casimir with 4,000 troops. The treaty was, however, dissatisfying for John II Casimir, who had hoped for more substantial aid, and further ineffective as Ferdinand III died three days after giving his signature. A similar, but more effective alliance was concluded by Ferdinand III's successor Leopold I in the Treaty of Vienna (1657).

Wojciech Miaskowski

Wojciech Miaskowski (?-c. 1654) was a Polish noble, deputy to sejmiks (1611, 1620, 1622) and sejm (1627, 1632, 1637, 1641, 1648, 1650), diplomat and writer of diaries. Stolnik of Podole (from 1625), podkomorzy of Lwów, (from 1637). Participated in the Polish-Swedish wars and the Polish-Muscovite War. In 1638 he was a diplomatic envoy to Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, in 1640, to the Ottoman Empire. and in 1649 with Bogdan Chmielnicki. The latter diplomatic mission was a source of his memoirs, republished several time since.

Wolfgang Ebner

Wolfgang Ebner (1612–1665) was a German baroque composer. He was a Viennese court organist in the latter years of the reign of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor, and then of Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor.

Ebner was born in Augsburg. He may have preceded Johann Heinrich Schmelzer as ballet master at the court. He died in Vienna.

Ancestors of Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
8. Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor[6]
4. Charles II, Archduke of Austria[4]
9. Anna of Bohemia and Hungary[6]
2. Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
10. Albert V, Duke of Bavaria[7] (= 12)
5. Maria Anna of Bavaria[4]
11. Anna of Austria[7] (= 13)
1. Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor
12. Albert V, Duke of Bavaria[8] (= 10)
6. William V, Duke of Bavaria[5]
13. Anna of Austria[8] (= 11)
3. Maria Anna of Bavaria
14. Francis I, Duke of Lorraine[9]
7. Renata of Lorraine[5]
15. Christina of Denmark[9]
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