Thirty Years' War

Les Grandes Misères de la guerre (The Great Miseries of War) by Jacques Callot, 1633
Habsburg possessions in Europe, ca. 1700
The Spanish Road
Purple: Spanish dependencies
Green: Ruled by Austria
Brown: Ruled by Spain
A contemporary woodcut depicts the Third Defenestration of Prague (1618), which marked the beginning of the Bohemian Revolt
Contemporary painting showing the Battle of White Mountain (1620), where Imperial-Spanish forces under Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly won a decisive victory.
Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria whose seizure of the Palatinate expanded the war
Contemporary colored engraving showing the Siege of Stralsund, May to 4 August 1628
Albrecht von Wallenstein achieved great military success for the Empire but his power threatened both Ferdinand and the German princes
Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, known as the "Lion of the North", who was killed at Lützen in 1632
Travellers attacked by soldiers, Vrancx, 1647. Note devastated landscape in background; by the 1640s, shortage of supplies and forage for horses drastically limited military campaigns
The final battle of the war; Swedish siege of Prague
Siege and capture of Casale Monferrato by French troops, 1630
The Iberian Union; Spain's inability to protect Portuguese interests in the 1602 to 1663 Dutch–Portuguese War was a key factor in the 1640 Portuguese Restoration War
Holy Roman Empire after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648
Frederick's son Charles I Louis, Elector Palatine, restored by Westphalia
Population declines within Germany 1618 to 1648
Note; Decline includes factors such as emigration from rural to more secure urban areas and does not equate to Deaths
Soldiers plundering a farm
Breitenfeld 1631; Tilly's army (Left) are deployed two companies deep, the Swedes (Right) just one company deep
A peasant begs for mercy in front of his burning farm; by the 1630s, being caught in the open by soldiers from either side was 'tantamount to a death sentence'
Europe after the Peace of Westphalia, 1648
Swedish sovereignty over Western Pomerania (in blue) was confirmed in 1653
Frederick V of the Palatinate was crowned 'Frederick II' of Bohemia in 1619 as a protest by the largely Protestant Czech nobility.
King Gustavus was killed at the Battle of Lützen in November 1632.
The defeat at Nördlingen in 1634 was a huge setback for the Protestant-Swedish alliance and influenced France's entry into the war the following year.
Cardinal Richelieu largely directed French foreign policy throughout the course of the conflict.
Ferdinand III was elected Holy Roman Emperor following the death of his father in 1637.
Louis, Duke of Enghien leading at Freiburg, 1644.
Although a French victory, the second battle of Nördlingen in 1645 delayed their advance into Bavaria for another year.
The Battle of Lens was one of the last major battles of the main conflict. However, the war between France and Spain would continue until 1659.

Largely waged within the Holy Roman Empire from 1618 to 1648.

- Thirty Years' War

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Peace of Augsburg

Treaty between Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and the Schmalkaldic League, signed in September 1555 at the imperial city of Augsburg.

Portrait by Titian, probably with Lambert Sustris, 1548

The system, created on the basis of the Augsburg Peace, collapsed at the beginning of the 17th century, which was one of the reasons for the Thirty Years' War.

Gustavus Adolphus

King of Sweden from 1611 to 1632, and is credited for the rise of Sweden as a great European power (Stormaktstiden).

Portrait attributed to Jacob Hoefnagel, 1624
Gustavus Adolphus leading a cavalry charge
The Lion of the North: Gustavus Adolphus depicted at the turning point of the Battle of Breitenfeld (1631) against the forces of Count Tilly.
Engraving of Gustavus Adolphus
Gustavus Adolphus at Breitenfeld in 1631
Death of Gustavus at Lützen by Carl Wahlbom (1855)
Gustavus Adolphus's lit de parade, by F. and J. Strachen, Wolgast 1633.
Gustavus Adolphus's sarcophagus at Riddarholm Church
Gustav Adolf Grammar School in Tallinn, 2007
A GAW Flag in the Protestant church of Sopron, Hungary
alt=A copper bust of King Gustav Adolph's shoulders and head. He wears his military garb and a crown of laurels. His eyes are fixed at a point in the sky and his chin tilts upward confidently. He wears a full mustache and a triangular goatee. The bust is from Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota.|Bust of King Gustav Adolph on campus at Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota
Image of King Gustav Adolph on a wall of Stockholm Palace
Stockholm statue at square named for him
With his wife
Cathedral memorial in Borlänge
Death location memorial in Lützen

During his reign, Sweden became one of the primary military forces in Europe during the Thirty Years' War, helping to determine the political and religious balance of power in Europe.

Christian IV of Denmark

King of Denmark and Norway and Duke of Holstein and Schleswig from 1588 until his death in 1648.

Portrait by Pieter Isaacsz, c. 1612
Frederiksborg Castle, ca. 1585.
At the death bed of Niels Kaas. The 17-year-old Christian IV receives from the dying chancellor the keys to the vault where the royal crown and sceptre are stored. History painting by Carl Bloch, 1880.
The coronation of King Christian IV on 29 August 1596 History painting by Otto Bache, 1887.
Coat of arms of Christian IV and Queen Anne Catherine. From Kompagnietor, Flensburg.
Tranquebar on India's south coast.
Christian IV receives homage from the countries of Europe as mediator in the Thirty Years' War. Grisaille by Adrian van de Venne, 1643.
Christian at the Battle of Colberger Heide. History painting by Vilhelm Marstrand
Engraving of Christian IV
Chapel of Christian IV at Roskilde Cathedral
King Christian IV and Queen Anne Catherine with the Prince-Elect. It was originally two separate portraits. The King was painted by Pieter Isaacsz, c. 1612
Kirsten Munk and children portrayed by Jacob van Doordt, 1623.
Statue of King Christian IV in Oslo
Statue of Christian IV in Kristiansand
Statue of Christian IV in Copenhagen
Bust of Christian IV at Frederiksborg Castle
Sculpture by Christian IV in Roskilde Cathedral by Bertel Thorvaldsen
Statue of Christian IV at the city hall in Kristianstad by Bertel Thorvaldsen
Sculpture of Christian IV meeting the king of Sweden, Gustav II Adolf in Halmstad

He engaged Denmark in numerous wars, most notably the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648), which devastated much of Germany, undermined the Danish economy, and cost Denmark some of its conquered territories.

Peace of Westphalia

Collective name for two peace treaties signed in October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster.

The historic town hall of Münster where the treaty was signed
Dutch envoy Adriaan Pauw enters Münster around 1646 for the peace negotiations
Sebastian Dadler undated medal (1648), Christina of Sweden, portrait with feathered helmet right. Obverse
The reverse of this medal: Christina of Sweden as Minerva holding an olive branch in her left arm and grasping the tree of knowledge with her right hand.
A map showing European borders in 1648
The Holy Roman Empire in 1648
Allegory of the Peace of Westphalia, by Jacob Jordaens.

They ended the Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) and Eighty Years' War (1568–1648), and brought peace to the Holy Roman Empire, closing a calamitous period of European history that killed approximately eight million people.

Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor

From 1621 Archduke of Austria, King of Hungary from 1625, King of Croatia and Bohemia from 1627 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1637 until his death in 1657.

Portrait by Jan van den Hoecke (1643)
Christoph Simon von Thun (1582-1635), teacher of young Ferdinand III
Portrait of Ferdinand's wife Maria Anna of Austria, by Diego Velázquez
Population decline in the empire as a consequence of the Thirty Years War.
Emperor Ferdinand III amongst the electoral princes, Copperplate engraving by Abraham Aubry, Nuremberg 1663/64
Ferdinand III, c. 1637–1638
Emperor Ferdinand III's sarcophagus in the Vienna Capuchin Crypt

Ferdinand ascended the throne at the beginning of the last decade of the Thirty Years' War and introduced lenient policies to depart from old ideas of divine rights under his father, as he had wished to end the war quickly.

Frederick V of the Palatinate

The Elector Palatine of the Rhine in the Holy Roman Empire from 1610 to 1623, and reigned as King of Bohemia from 1619 to 1620.

Portrait by Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt, c. 1630
Frederick's coat of arms
Map showing the Electoral Palatinate in the Holy Roman Empire. As son and heir of Frederick IV, Elector Palatine (1574–1610), Frederick was the hereditary ruler of the Palatinate.
Portrait of Frederick by Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt, 1613.
Elizabeth Stuart (1596–1662), 1613.
Heidelberg Castle and the Hortus Palatinus commissioned by Frederick, and designed by English architect Inigo Jones (1573–1652) and French engineer Salomon de Caus (1576–1626), painting by Jacques Fouquier.
Frederick in Roman garb.
Frederick's chancellor Christian I, Prince of Anhalt-Bernburg (1568–1630).
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1578–1637), who was elected King of Bohemia in 1617 and who would later claim that Frederick had usurped his rightful claim to the throne of Bohemia.
Coronation of Frederick V in St. Vitus Cathedral, 4 November 1619.
Bohemia 1620, retrospective coronation medal of King Frederic Elector Palatine of the Rhine. Obverse
The reverse of this medallion: 5 hands holding the Bohemian royal crown over the Palatinate Lion lying with a scepter in his right paw, and his left paw lying on the orb
This 1619 Imperial pamphlet, containing a chronogram, was the first to dub Frederick "The Winter King".
Frederick V on horseback with Prague in the background.
Depiction of the Battle of White Mountain by Peter Snayers (1592–1667), 1620.
1620 pamphlet mocking Frederick's flight from Prague.
Ernst von Mansfeld (1580–1626), soldier who held on to Frederick's Palatine inheritance until 1622.
Heidelberg is taken by the forces of Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly (1559–1632) on 19 September 1622.
1623 edict by Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (1578–1637) awarding Frederick's lands and titles to Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria (1573–1651).
The winter palace constructed for Frederick V at Rhenen between 1629 and 1631.

In 1618 the largely Protestant Czech nobility of Bohemia rebelled against their Catholic King Ferdinand, triggering the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War.

Swedish Empire

European great power that exercised territorial control over much of the Baltic region during the 17th and early 18th centuries .

The Swedish Empire at its height in 1658, with overseas possessions not shown
Sweden's coat of arms (with erroneous tinctures) on a wall of City Hall at Lützen in Germany
The Swedish Empire at its height in 1658, with overseas possessions not shown
The development of Sweden and its empire from 1560 to 1815
The Swedish Empire at its height in 1658, with overseas possessions not shown
Triumph of King Charles X Gustav over the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, 1655
King Charles X Gustav
King Charles XI
Charles XII
Swedish possessions in 1658. The years in parentheses indicate when the possession was given up or lost.
Gustavus Adolphus.

After the victories in the Thirty Years' War, Sweden reached the climax of the great-power era during the Second Northern War, when its primary adversary, Denmark–Norway, was neutralized by the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658 (this is when the Swedish empire was at its largest extent).

Bohemian Revolt

The Third Defenestration of Prague
Contemporary painting showing the Battle of White Mountain (1620), where Pro-Habsburg forces under Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly won a decisive victory.
The window (second floor) where the Second Defenestration occurred. Note the monument to the right of the castle tower.
Historical re-enactment of the Battle of White Mountain

The Bohemian Revolt (Böhmischer Aufstand; České stavovské povstání; 1618–1620) was an uprising of the Bohemian estates against the rule of the Habsburg dynasty that began the Thirty Years' War.

Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor

Holy Roman Emperor, King of Bohemia, Hungary, and Croatia from 1619 until his death in 1637.

Emperor Ferdinand II in 1614
Portrait of Ferdinand in his twenties, c.1598–1605
Graz in the mid-17th-century
The meeting of Emperor Rudolph II and his brother, Archduke Matthias near Prague in 1608
Coronation of Ferdinand II as king of Bohemia in 1617.
Nehaj Fortress held by the Uskoks. It is located on the Dalmatian coast near Senj.
Religious situation in the Holy Roman Empire at the outbreak of the Thirty Years' War in 1618
The Battle of White Mountain (1620) in Bohemia was one of the decisive battles of the Thirty Years' War that ultimately led to the forced conversion of the Bohemian population back to Roman Catholicism
The execution of 27 Bohemian noblemen and burghers in Prague
Eleonora Gonzaga in her wedding dress, by Justus Sustermans, 1621/22. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.
Ferdinand's Reformationspatent ordered every Protestant preacher and teacher in Upper Austria to be inducted into a special registry in 1624.
Ferdinand II, 1626
Ferdinand II, 1635 (two years before his death)
Maria Anna of Bavaria
Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor and his second wife, Eleonora Gonzaga, Princess of Mantua. Even though they had no children, their marriage was perceived to be a "happy" one.
Coat of arms of Ferdinand II

The Thirty Years' War began in 1618 as a result of inadequacies of his predecessors Rudolf II and Matthias.

Peace of Prague (1635)

Prague Castle, site of negotiations
Emperor Ferdinand II, ca 1635
John George of Saxony, ca 1652
Holy Roman Empire 1648; its complexity presented opportunities for external powers

The Peace of Prague (, Prager Frieden), signed on 30 May 1635, ended Saxony's participation in the Thirty Years War.