Home » Charles IV (1316 – 1378) – King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor

Charles IV depositing relics at Karlstejn (detail) Photo © Národní galerie v Praze

Charles IV (1316 – 1378)
King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor

Charles IV (1316 – 1378) was a gifted politician and blessed with a sensual and creative mind. He used these talents to craft a spectacular vision of his own sacred role as both King of Bohemia and Holy Roman Emperor. During his lifetime he was busy crafting a number of spectacular “props”, “scenographies” and “scripts”, which he deftly used to legitimise his royal and sacral power. 

This year, 2016, Prague and Nuremberg celebrate the 700-year anniversary of this spectacular king and his eventful life. This has resulted in two major exhibitions, a number of minor shows and a handful of spectacular events, like the re-creation of his coronation as King of Bohemia in September 1347 in Prague – an event which he wrote the screen play for while jewellers designed his new crown. 

Below are a number of articles touching upon aspects of his life as well as a number of the places, which he built or just like to stay. There are also a couple of articles about some of the major events, which have taken place the last year. 


Banner with exhibition Charles IV 1316 - 2016

Charles IV
1316 – 2016

This year Prag and Nuremberg celebrates the birth of Charles IV (1316 – 1378) with two major exhibitions and a number of other events…

Couple playacting as Charles IV and Queen Blanche 1347 - 2016 Honza Keokotah

Invitation to the Coronation of Charles IV 2016

The re-enactment of the Coronation of Charles IV in Prague is a recurrent event. This year, it will be a faithful, scientifically based recreation…

Charles IV - Statue in prague from 1848 by Ernst Julius Hähnel

Charles IV – Medieval Adventurer or National Hero?

In 2005 the Czech cast their vote as to who was the greatest Czech hero. Curiously enough a medieval king, Charles IV, came out on top by 68.713 votes…


The Last Judgement at the Golden Gate of St. Vitus in Prague. Source: Wikipedia

The Curious Mind of Charles IV

Charles IV was an extremely sensual person possessing a creative and curious mind. A vast number of sources witness to this remarkable leader

Crown Jewels in Prague. Source: Tourism Site

Crowns of Charles IV

Charles IV was obsessed with organising impressive medieval spectacles. One of the important props were his crowns, of which we know several.

Statues on the tower at the Charles Bridge in Prague © Flickr/Jaime Silva 2008
Prague – Centre Stage for Charles IV

Charles IV was a king obsessed with organising feasts and processions of all sorts. His rebuilding of Prague is a witness to this…

Crown from Aachen © Národní galerie v Praze

Charles IV – Deft Politician or Sacral Ruler?

Charles IV was obsessed with collecting holy relics. Among these, the Royal Relics, assisted Charles in the creation of himself as a sacral king…


Adoring the cross at Karlsteijn

The Portraits of Charles IV of Bohemia

Charles IV belongs to a group of 14th century rulers who commissioned artists to render them as personally recognizable individuals when acting as kings…

Charles IV carried into Paris- BnF, FR 2813 f 469

Charles IV – Boisterous Youth and Crippled King

Charles IV was known as an agile youth with a penchant for taking part in tournaments. However, in 1350 he was severely crippled


Karlstejn © pstours

The Castle of Karlštejn

Karlstejn is a remarkable witness to the creative energy of Charles IV, king of Bohema and Holy Roman Emperor 1316 – 1378…

karlstejn reconstructed outfit of Wenceslas © Karlstejn

Karlštejn Castle and its Treasure

The Karlštejn Treasure is a collection of around 400 objects dating back to the 14th century, when Charles IV commissioned the building of the Castle.

Castle in Laun or Wenzelschloss

The Castle in Lauf – The Wenzelschloss

The Castle in Lauf – also known as the Wenzelschloss – was constructed by Charles IV in 1356 on the road between Prague and Nuremberg.