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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NameDetailsTotal
Adolf1 king1
Albrecht1 king/emperor, 2 kings3
Alfonso1 king1
Arnulf1 king/emperor1
Ferdinand3 king/emperors3
Franz2 king/emperors2
Friedrich3 king/emperors3
Heinrich6 king/emperors, 1 king7
Joseph2 king/emperors2
Karl7 king/emperors7
Konrad1 king/emperor, 3 kings4
Leopold2 king/emperors2
Lothar2 king/emperors2
Ludwig3 king/emperors, 1 king4
Matthias1 king/emperor1
Maximilian2 king/emperors2
Otto4 king/emperors4
Philipp1 king1
Richard1 king1
Rudolf1 king/emperor, 1 king2
Ruprecht1 king1
Sigismund1 king/emperor1
Wenzel1 king1
William1 king1