Charlemagne was crowned the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire in 800 A.D. The Holy Roman Empire was a political entity across much of Central Europe from 982 to 1806. During its long existence, it largely functioned as a loose confederation, and for much of its existence its head of state, the Holy Roman Emperor, was mostly a ceremonial title.
The Holy Roman Empire was one of many entities to claim to be the successor of the mighty Roman Empire. While the Byzantine Empire remained as a more direct successor in the Eastern Mediterranean, empires such as the Russian Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the French Empire and the German Empire also made the claim of Roman legacy.
The Frankish Empire was divided in the 10th century, with the eastern, mainly German-speaking part, becoming the Holy Roman Empire.
The Holy Roman Emperor lost much of its political influence following the Thirty Years War, and since then, the title was mostly held by the Austrian Emperor. As Napoleon allied or conquered many of the Holy Roman lands during the Napoleonic Wars, he was close to claiming the title of Holy Roman Emperor. The title was formally dissolved in 1806.
- 1 Aachen. Charlemagne's residence.
- 2 Iesi. Birthplace of Frederick II, who ruled a vast area of Europe in the 13th century during his 30-year reign of Holy Roman Emperor.
- 3 Vienna. The seat of the Emperor of Austria, who held the title during the last time of the empire.
- 4 Worms. Location of the 1495 Reichstag which founded the Reichskammergericht, an independent court.
- 5 Prague. Capital of the Holy Roman Empire during the time of Charles IV. It has one of the best-preserved 18th century old towns of any major city in Europe.