1000 Years of The Habsburg Dynasty

The Habsburgs ruled parts of Europe for a thousand years. At some stage their empire spanned the globe and would never see the sun setting. As staunch Catholics they played an important role during the Reformation and Counter-reformation periods of European history and exerted an important influence in the shaping of present day Europe. Over six weeks this course will examine the events and their historical consequences that are ineradicably connected to one of the world’s oldest dynasties.


  • Historical Background and Origin of the Habsburg family
  • From Alpine Princes to Holy Roman Emperors
  • From the Philippines to Peru – a Global Empire
  • Charles V vs. Martin Luther – the Habsburgs and the Reformation
  • Franco-Austrian Rivalry and Collapse of the Holy Roman Empire
  • Austro-Prussian Rivalry and Dynasty Decline

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Explain the importance of the Habsburg family in shaping Europe’s history
  2. Describe the main historical events leading to the rise and fall of the dynasty
  3. Identify the most important members of the Habsburg dynasty