At the helm of the Holy Roman Empire (14th — 15th centuries)

During the early 14th century, the house of Luxembourg acceded to the imperial throne.

In 1308, Count Henry VII was elected king of Germany by the prince-electors at the instigation of his brother Baudouin, archbishop of Trier, and by Pierre d’Aspelt, archbishop of Mayence, also of Luxembourg origin. A papal legate crowned him emperor in Rome in 1312. His son, John the Blind, married the heiress to the Kingdom of Bohemia and assumed the title of king of Bohemia. A model knight, he died a hero’s death in the service of the king of France in the Battle of Crécy in 1346.

After Henri VII, three other members of the dynasty of Luxembourg were going to bear the imperial crown:

  • Charles IV (1346-1378),
  • Wenceslas (1376-1400) and
  • Sigismond (1410-1437).

In 1354, Charles IV elevated the County of Luxembourg to the rank of duchy. It achieved its greatest expansion with the acquisition of the County of Chiny in 1364.

However, with the accession to imperial honours, the sovereigns of Luxembourg moved away from their home fief, which was conquered by foreign sovereigns.

In 1443, the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, conquered the town of Luxembourg. The Duchy of Luxembourg then became a province of the Netherlands. Its destiny was to be linked to this geographical and political ensemble for the subsequent four centuries.

(Source: About... History of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg)

  • Updated 28-04-2015