Joseph II reigned as the Holy Roman Emperor from 1765, and as the sole ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780, until 1790. Son of Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Francis I, and brother of Marie Antoinette, he laid down policies now known as Josephinism. He died without heirs.
Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as the king of Hungary and Croatia from 1387 to 1437. He also served as the king of Germany, king of Bohemia, king of Italy, and emperor of the Romans. Sigismund is best remembered for playing a key role in bringing about the Council of Constance, which ended the Papal Schism.
The second son of military leader János Hunyadi, Matthias Corvinus ruled as the king of Hungary and Croatia in the 15th century. He introduced several financial and other administrative reforms to reunite Hungary after a long period of anarchy. He also established the Black Army of Hungary and patronized the arts and sciences.
Second son of Emperor Ferdinand III, Leopold I became the heir apparent to his father’s throne on the death of his elder brother in 1654, being coroneted as the Holy Roman Emperor in 1658. Although he received little training for the throne, Austria became a great European power during his reign, emerging victorious in struggles against Ottoman Empire and France.
Jadwiga of Poland reigned over the Kingdom of Poland as its first female monarch from 1384 until her death in 1399. Regarded as one of Poland's greatest rulers, Jadwiga is often compared to Casimir the Great and Bolesław the Brave. Also remembered for her charitable activities, Jadwiga of Poland established new schools, hospitals, and churches.
A legendary figure in Hungarian history, Stephen I was the first king of Hungary. Part of the Árpád dynasty and son of Magyar chief Géza, Stephen was born a Pagan but was later baptized as a Christian. He built many monasteries, encouraged trade, and maintained peace in his kingdom.
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor reigned as king of Archduke of Austria, emperor of the Romans, and king of Hungary and Bohemia from 1790 until his death in 1792. From 1765 to 1790, he served as Grand Duke of Tuscany, during which he abolished capital punishment in Tuscany, making it the first nation to abolish capital punishment in modern history.
Maximilian II was the Holy Roman Emperor from 1564 until his death in 1576. A member of the Austrian House of Habsburg, he was the eldest son of the Habsburg archduke Ferdinand I and Anne of Bohemia and Hungary. He was the nephew of Emperor Charles V. As the king, he adopted a policy of religious neutrality.
Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand III is largely held responsible for ending the Thirty Years’ War in 1648 with 2 peace treaties known as the Peace of Westphalia. He also conspired against Generalissimo Albrecht von Wallenstein when he was denied control of the imperial army. He was also instrumental in the Peace of Prague.
Archduchess Marie Valerie was the last child of Franz Joseph I, emperor of Austria and king of Hungary, and Empress Elisabeth. Rumors also claimed she was an illegitimate child of Elisabeth and Gyula Andrássy. He marriage to her third cousin, Archduke Franz Salvator, was criticized for not being dynastic.
Louis I, the King of Hungary and Croatia and King of Poland, was considered for centuries in Hungarian historiography as the most powerful monarch of Hungary. His long-reign was marked with several campaigns including against Naples. As he had no sons, Louis issued Privilege of Koszyce so that one of his daughters could ascend the Polish throne following his death.
Albert II of Germany was a Holy Roman Emperor of the Habsburg Monarchy. He became the ruler of Hungary, Germany, and Bohemia after his father-in-law Sigismund’s death. He was known for bringing about peace and for dividing Germany into structured administrative segments to make ruling easier.
Louis II of Hungary reigned as the King of Hungary, Bohemia, and Croatia from 1516 to 1526. His loss against the Ottomans led to the annexation of Hungary by the Ottomans; Louis II of Hungary was killed while fighting the Ottomans in the Battle of Mohács.
Władysław III was 10 when he succeeded his father, Władysław II Jagiełło, to the throne of Poland. However, he spent most of his rule guided and dominated by Polish noble Oleśnicki. He also ruled as the king of Hungary and Croatia and the duke of Lithuania.
Charles I of Hungary reigned as the King of Croatia and Hungary from 1308 until his death in 1342. During his reign, Charles improved and reorganized the administration of royal revenues. Charles I of Hungary also encouraged the spread of chivalrous culture throughout his realms.
Béla IV was a 13th-century king of Hungary and Croatia and the son of King Andrew II. His reign witnessed devastating Mongol invasions of Hungary, though he made marked efforts to reduce the damage, by building fortresses around Hungarian towns, thus gaining the title of the “second founder of the state.”
Andrew II, or Andrew of Jerusalem, succeeded his father, King Béla III, as the king of Hungary and Croatia. His rule was marked by controversies, owing to his reckless spending habits and his infamous Crusade to the Holy Land. He was later forced to sign the Golden Bull, which limited royal rights.
Considered the most loved king of Hungary, Ladislaus I, or Saint Ladislas, was the son of King Béla I. He is remembered for extending the kingdom of Hungary. He restored law and order by introducing severe punishment for property rights violation and also introduced Roman Catholicism in Croatia.
Hungarian nobleman Ferenc Rákóczi, II was born into a Magyar noble family and was the richest landlord in Hungary and the prince of Transylvania. He played a major role in the near-successful Rákóczi's War of Independence against the Habsburg empire and is now considered one of Hungary’s national heroes.
Béla I became King of Hungary rebelling against and dethroning his brother Andrew I of Hungary in 1060 after the latter had his elder own son, Solomon, crowned king during his lifetime. During his reign, Bela I reformed the coinage and suppressed the last uprising made by a crowd of commoners demanding murder of clergymen and the restoration of paganism.
King John Zápolya of Hungary was initially the governor of Transylvania, where he suppressed a peasant revolt. After Louis II was killed by the Ottomans, Louis II’s brother-in-law, Ferdinand I challenged John for the throne of Hungary and acquired a part of the country. Eventually, a childless John named Ferdinand his successor.
The eldest son of Polish king Casimir IV Jagiełło, Vladislaus II reigned over both Hungary and Bohemia and is remembered for uniting the two kingdoms. He had significant conflicts with rulers such as Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus and Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I. He was also known by his nickname Dobzse László.
Béla III succeeded his elder brother Stephen III, as King of Hungary and Croatia. During his reign, Bela III emphasized significance of written records. According to Hungarian chronicles from the 14th century Bela III established the Royal Chancery. The royal palace and the cathedral rebuilt in Esztergom during his reign were the earliest examples of Gothic architecture in Central Europe.
Gábor Bethlen reigned as the King of Hungary from 25 August 1620 to 31 December 1621. He is best remembered as the Prince of Transylvania and Duke of Opole. Although he was the king of Hungary, Gábor Bethlen never took control of the entire kingdom.
Born to the posthumous son of King Andrew II, Stephan, Andrew III was made the king of Hungary after the death of King Ladislaus IV. A wise and solemn ruler, he was the last king of the House of Árpád. His reign witnessed continuous anarchy, especially from the Kőszegis and the Csáks.
Hungarian King Ladislas IV, also known as Ladislas the Cuman, was the son of King Stephen V. He spent a part of his childhood imprisoned by rebellious lord Joachim Gutkeled. He later allied with German king Rudolf I to strengthen the Habsburg dynasty in Austria.
The son of King Géza I and his Greek concubine, Coloman became the king of Hungary after the death of his uncle, King Ladislas. He was also known as Coloman the Bookish for his habit of reading and his love for learning and literature. He maintained internal order and peace throughout his rule.
Béla II, also known as Béla the Blind, was the son of Hungarian prince Álmos. Both he and his father were blinded on the orders of Álmos's brother, Coloman. He took over as the king of Hungary after the death of Coloman's son, King Stephen II.
The first son of King Béla IV, Stephen V was crowned at the age of 6 and became the Duke of Slavonia. As he grew up, he clashed with his father for control over parts of Hungary. Apart from being the king of Hungary and Croatia, he also became the king of Bulgaria.
Hungarian King Andrew I gained the epithets the White and the Catholic for declaring Pagan rights illegal soon after his coronation. He also successfully defended his nation against the Holy Roman Empire. He died while fleeing after being defeated in a battle with his brother Béla I.
The eldest son of Béla the Blind, Géza II was a child when his father died and began ruling as the king of Hungary and Croatia under the guidance of his mother and his uncle, Beloš. He later allied with Louis VII of France and also encouraged foreign trade.
Géza, Grand Prince of the Hungarians, also known as Stephen, was the son of Grand Prince Taksony. His rule was primarily peaceful, and he also supported Christian missionaries. Though he was baptized, he retained his Pagan rituals. He was the father of Saint Stephen, the first king of Hungary.
Two-time king of Hungary, Peter Orseolo, also known as Peter the Venetian, was the nephew of King Stephen I. His first term of reign ended in his deposition because of his rampant favoritism. His second stint of rule began after Henry III, Holy Roman Emperor restored him to power.
Stephen III of Hungary reigned as the King of Croatia and Hungary from 1162 until his death in 1172. He is best remembered as a brave warrior king who waged a war against the mighty Byzantine Empire. Although he could not win the war, Stephen III of Hungary earned the respect of one and all for his valor.
Emeric of Hungary reigned as the King of Croatia and Hungary from 1196 until his death in 1204. Half of his reign was spent fighting his rebellious brother, Andrew II, who demanded a separate duchy for himself. Emeric of Hungary fell seriously ill at age 29 and passed away soon after, after making his four-year-old son the new king.
The son of György I, György Rákóczi, II was the Prince of Transylvania. Though he joined hands with the Swedes in attacking Poland, hoping to earn the Polish crown, he ended up being driven out by the Turks. He codified the laws of the principality but could not prevent Turkish hegemony over Transylvania.