01.- Carlos I (1500-1558)
The first king of the Habsburg dynasty is Carlos I. He was born in Ghent, son of Juana of Aragon and Castilla and her husband Felipe el Hermoso - Philip the Handsome. So Carlos was the grandson of Isabel and Fernando, the Catholic Monarchs.
When Carlos came to Spain, he was seventeen years old, had never been in this country before and did not speak the language. Until that moment he had been in the Netherlands.
Two years later he was also crowned Emperor of Germany with the name Karl V.
During the first years of his reign he wanted to give the most powerful political positions to foreigners. The communities in Castilla were against this and there was an uprising against the King. Although they were defeated, Carlos I learnt this lesson and decided that it was better to have the Castillian people on his side as they were the richest citizens at that time. So he chose Spanish people as his councellors.
During his reign he created the so called Consejos or Councils, people chosen by the King, who used to discuss certain topics with him.They became very powerful, especially the secretaries as they were the link between the King and the Councils.
This was also the time when great parts of America were conquered by Cortes, Pizarro and Magallanes. Meanwhile, in Europe, Carlos fought Protestantism although finally he signed the Augsburg Treaty leaving the Germans the freedom to decide about their religious confession.
Carlos I was married to Isabel of Portugal. They had five children. Felipe was to be the heir of the Spanish Kingdom. He also had four illegitimate children, among them Don Juan de Austria.
Carlos and Isabel got married in Seville and lived the first years of their marriage in Granada. Carlos even thought of establishing the Court there. A palace was going to be built in the area of the Alhambra, but it was never finished. It is also said that the King brought some beautiful flowers from Persia for his wife and that they were planted there. They were carnations.
As Carlos spent a lot of time abroad, his wife really governed the country during his absences. She liked to spend long periods of time in Toledo.