German Kings and Holy Roman Emperors

This list begins with Karl/Charles the Great, also known as Charlemagne. He was the ruler of the Frankish Kingdom the 9th century, which was at the time comprised of France, western Germany, and northern Italy (see Kings of the Franks). In the year 800 the Pope Leo III decided that Charlemagne should be declared the Roman Emperor (Latin Romanorum Gubernans Imperium "governing the Empire of the Romans"). His son Ludwig/Louis also became Emperor, but following Ludwig's death the Frankish Kingdom was split between his sons, the forerunners of the kings of Germany, France, Italy and Burgundy, and the title was granted to various people. However, starting with Otto the Great in 962, the Emperor (if there was one) was always the person who was the king of Germany. Crowned by the pope, the Holy Roman Emperor was thought of as the ruler of all of Christendom.

Beginning in the 10th century, the German king was elected by the dukes, the leaders of the duchies that made up the realm. These duchies were semi-sovereign and often acted independently, though theoretically they were under the command of the king/Emperor.

After Friedrich III all of the kings of Germany and the Holy Roman Emperors were from the Habsburg family, with the exception of one. The Habsburgs personally possessed extensive territories in Austria, and later in Bohemia, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands. By this time the Emperors were no longer crowned by the popes. The last Holy Roman Emperor was removed by Napoleon in 1806.

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NameYears
Adolf of Nassau1292-1298
Albrecht I1298-1308
Albrecht II the Magnanimous1438-1439
Alfonso of Castile1257-1273
Arnulf of Carinthia887-899
Ferdinand I1531-1564
Ferdinand II1619-1637
Ferdinand III1636-1657
Franz I1745-1765
Franz II1792-1806
Friedrich I Barbarossa1152-1190
Friedrich II1212-1250
Friedrich III the Peaceful1440-1493
Heinrich I the Fowler919-936
Heinrich II1002-1024
Heinrich III1028-1056
Heinrich IV1054-1105
Heinrich V1099-1125
Heinrich VI1169-1197
Heinrich VII1308-1313
Joseph I1690-1711
Joseph II1764-1790
Karl I the Great800-814
Karl II the Bald875-877
Karl III the Fat876-887
Karl IV1346-1378
Karl V1519-1556
Karl VI1711-1740
Karl VII Albrecht1742-1745
Konrad I of Franconia911-918
Konrad II1024-1039
Konrad III1138-1152
Konrad IV1237-1254
Leopold I1658-1705
Leopold II1790-1792
Lothar I817-855
Lothar III of Saxony1125-1137
Ludwig I the Pious813-840
Ludwig II the Younger844-875
Ludwig III the Child900-911
Ludwig IV1314-1347
Matthias1612-1619
Maximilian I1486-1519
Maximilian II1562-1576
Otto I the Great936-973
Otto II the Red961-983
Otto III983-1002
Otto IV1198-1215
Philipp of Swabia1198-1208
Richard of Cornwall1257-1272
Rudolf I1273-1291
Rudolf II1575-1612
Ruprecht1400-1410
Sigismund1410-1437
Wenzel1376-1400
William of Holland1247-1256