First to reign
Charlemagne
25 December AD 800 – 28 January AD 814
Depiction of Otto I on his seal in 968
Coats of arms of prince electors surround the imperial coat of arms; from a 1545 armorial. Electors voted in an Imperial Diet for a new Holy Roman Emperor.
12th-century stained glass depiction of Otto I, Strasbourg Cathedral
Depiction of Charlemagne in a 12th-century stained glass window, Strasbourg Cathedral, now at Musée de l'Œuvre Notre-Dame.
Side view of the Throne of Charlemagne at Aachen Cathedral, where Otto was crowned King of Germany in 936
Illustration of the election of Henry VII (27 November 1308) showing (left to right) the Archbishop of Cologne, Archbishop of Mainz, Archbishop of Trier, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Saxony, Margrave of Brandenburg and King of Bohemia (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340).
Central Europe, 919–1125. The Kingdom of Germany included the duchies of Saxony (yellow), Franconia (blue), Bavaria (green), Swabia (orange) and Lorraine (pink left). Various dukes rebelled against Otto's rule in 937 and again in 939.
Statues of Otto I, right, and Adelaide in Meissen Cathedral. Otto and Adelaide were married after his annexation of Italy.
The Iron Crown of the Lombards was passed to Otto in 951 during his first Italian campaign.
Manuscript depiction (c. 1200) of Otto accepting the surrender of Berengar II of Italy. The headline reads Otto I Theutonicorum rex ("Otto the First, King of the Germans").
A medieval king investing a bishop with the symbols of office. Otto centralized his control over Germany through the investiture of bishops and abbots.
Europe shortly after Otto's reign. The Hungarians (orange), located to the east of Otto's realm (blue), invaded Germany in 954 and 955.
A 1457 illustration of the Battle of Lechfeld in Sigmund Meisterlin's codex about the history of Nuremberg
The Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Otto was crowned as Emperor on February 2, 962 by Pope John XII.
Replica of the Magdeburger Reiter, an equestrian monument traditionally regarded as a portrait of Otto I (Magdeburg, original c. 1240)
Contemporary image of Otto I, lower left, in one of the Magdeburg Ivories. Otto presents Magdeburg Cathedral to Christ and Saints, and is depicted smaller than them as a sign of humility.
Italy around 1000, shortly after Otto's reign. Otto's expansion campaigns brought northern and central Italy into the Holy Roman Empire.
Tomb of Otto I in Magdeburg Cathedral
Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire commemorative coin

Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (Otto der Große, Ottone il Grande), was East Frankish king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973.

- Otto the Great

of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire.

- Holy Roman Emperor
First to reign
Charlemagne
25 December AD 800 – 28 January AD 814

6 related topics

Alpha

Depiction of the Ottonian family tree in a 13th-century manuscript of the Chronica sancti Pantaleonis. The founder of the dynasty Liudolf, Duke of Saxony is at the top center

Ottonian dynasty

Depiction of the Ottonian family tree in a 13th-century manuscript of the Chronica sancti Pantaleonis. The founder of the dynasty Liudolf, Duke of Saxony is at the top center
Gandersheim Abbey Church
Former collegiate church of St. Servatius in Quedlinburg, founded in 936 by King Otto I, at the request of his mother Queen Matilda, in honour of her late husband, Otto's father, King Henry the Fowler, and as his memorial
Detail from the monument to Emperor Henry II, built over his tomb in Bamberg Cathedral more than 350 years after his death.
Ottonian family tree

The Ottonian dynasty (Ottonen) was a Saxon dynasty of German monarchs (919–1024), named after three of its kings and Holy Roman Emperors named Otto, especially its first Emperor Otto I.

Salian dynasty

Dynasty in the High Middle Ages.

Dynasty in the High Middle Ages.

Family tree of the imperial dynasties of the Holy Roman Empire: Carolingians, Ottonians, Salians and Hohenstaufen.
Map of the Holy Roman Empire in the 10th and 11th centuries: Germany (blue), Italy (grey), Burgundy (orange to the West), Bohemia (orange to the East), Papal States (purple).
Pope Gregory V anoints Emperor Otto III (a miniature by an unidentified author, c. undefined 1450).
Speyer Cathedral, burial place of all Salian Emperors

The dynasty provided four kings of Germany (1024–1125), all of whom went on to be crowned Holy Roman emperors (1027–1125).

His family links with the Conradines facilitated his acquisition of large portions of their domains after King Otto I of Germany crushed their revolt in 939.

Holy Roman Empire

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

Political entity in Western, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
The double-headed eagle with coats of arms of individual states, the symbol of the Holy Roman Empire (painting from 1510)
The change of territory of the Holy Roman Empire superimposed on present-day state borders
A map of the Carolingian Empire (a.k.a. Francia, the Frankish Empire) within Europe circa 814 CE.
The Holy Roman Empire during the Ottonian Dynasty
The Holy Roman Empire between 972 and 1032
The Hohenstaufen-ruled Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom of Sicily. Imperial and directly held Hohenstaufen lands in the Empire are shown in bright yellow.
The Reichssturmfahne, a military banner during the 13th and early 14th centuries
Lands of the Bohemian Crown since the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV
An illustration from Schedelsche Weltchronik depicting the structure of the Reich: The Holy Roman Emperor is sitting; on his right are three ecclesiastics; on his left are four secular electors.
The Holy Roman Empire when the Golden Bull of 1356 was signed
Innsbruck, most important political centre under Maximilian, seat of the Hofkammer (Court Treasury) and the Court Chancery, which functioned as "the most influential body in Maximilian's government". Painting of Albrecht Dürer (1496)
Maximilian I paying attention to an execution instead of watching the betrothal of his son Philip the Handsome and Joanna of Castile. The top right corner shows Cain and Abel. Satire against Maximilian's legal reform, associated with imperial tyranny. Created on behalf of the councilors of Augsburg. Plate 89 of Von der Arztney bayder Glück by the Petrarcameister.
Personification of the Reich as Germania by Jörg Kölderer, 1512. The "German woman", wearing her hair loose and a crown, sitting on the Imperial throne, corresponds both to the self-image of Maximilian I as King of Germany and the formula Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation (omitting other nations). While usually depicted during the Middle Age as subordinate to both imperial power and Italia or Gallia, she now takes central stage in Maximilian's Triumphal Procession, being carried in front of Roma.
The Holy Roman Empire during the 16th century
Carta itineraria europae by Waldseemüller, 1520 (dedicated to Emperor Charles V)
The Holy Roman Empire around 1600, superimposed over current state borders
Religion in the Holy Roman Empire on the eve of the Thirty Years' War
The Empire after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648
The Empire on the eve of the French Revolution, 1789
The crown of the Holy Roman Empire (2nd half of the 10th century), now held in the Schatzkammer (Vienna)
The Seven Prince-electors (Codex Balduini Trevirorum, c. 1340)
A map of the Empire showing division into Circles in 1512
Vienna, circa 1580 by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg
Front page of the Peace of Augsburg, which laid the legal groundwork for two co-existing religious confessions (Roman Catholicism and Lutheranism) in the German-speaking states of the Holy Roman Empire

From the accession of Otto I in 962 until the twelfth century, the Empire was the most powerful monarchy in Europe.

Otto III's former mentor Antipope John XVI briefly held Rome, until the Holy Roman Emperor seized the city.

Henry's seal from a document of 30 March 925. He is portrayed as a warrior, with a spear and shield. The words are HEINRICUS REX (King Henry).

Henry the Fowler

Henry the Fowler (Heinrich der Vogler or Heinrich der Finkler; Henricus Auceps) (c.

Henry the Fowler (Heinrich der Vogler or Heinrich der Finkler; Henricus Auceps) (c.

Henry's seal from a document of 30 March 925. He is portrayed as a warrior, with a spear and shield. The words are HEINRICUS REX (King Henry).
Legend of the German crown offered to Henry while fixing his birding nets, by Hermann Vogel (1854–1921)
Finkenherd (finch trap) at Quedlinburg, built around 1530 at the legendary place of the king's bird trapping
Map of Lotharingia in the 10th century.
Himmler at Henry's grave, 1938

As the first non-Frankish king of East Francia, he established the Ottonian dynasty of kings and emperors, and he is generally considered to be the founder of the medieval German state, known until then as East Francia.

Henry prevented a collapse of royal power, as had happened in West Francia, and left a much stronger kingdom to his successor Otto I.

Berengar's imperial seal

Berengar I of Italy

The king of Italy from 887.

The king of Italy from 887.

Berengar's imperial seal
The so-called Cross of Berengar, said to have been Berengar I's pectoral cross and now in the cathedral of Monza
Some coins of Berengar's found in Hungary, possibly from payments made to Magyar raiders or mercenaries
Berengar portrayed as king in a twelfth-century manuscript
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He was Holy Roman Emperor between 915 and his death in 924.

His death was followed by an imperial interregnum that lasted 38 years until Otto I was crowned emperor in 962.

Iron Crown of Lombardy

King of Italy

The title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

The title given to the ruler of the Kingdom of Italy after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

Iron Crown of Lombardy

With the Frankish conquest of Italy in the 8th century, the Carolingians assumed the title, which was maintained by subsequent Holy Roman Emperors throughout the Middle Ages.

After the breakup of the Frankish empire, Otto I added Italy to the Holy Roman Empire and continued the use of the title Rex Italicorum.