European Routes of Emperor Charles V

European Routes of Emperor Charles V

Emperor Charles V was the great sixteenth century pan-European sovereign. His travels throughout the European continent are remembered as a symbol of unity for different regions and nations.

Through inheritance, he brought together, under his rule, extensive territories in western, central, and southern Europe and the Spanish colonies in the Americas and Asia.


Council of Europe values

Cultural Route of the Council of Europe logoEmperor Charles V, together with the extensive list of nations that were part of his State, shaped an unprecedented European identity that united different regions and countries under the same set of rules and values. His legacy allows us to better understand present-day Europe.

The European Routes of Emperor Charles V is certified Cultural Route of the Council of Europe since 2015.


Charles of Habsburg is an important common reference – political, cultural and historical – for many central European countries (Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg…) and also for southern European ones (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta, plus North Africa). His presence and political heritage can be found in the many historical sites and cultural manifestations that keep alive the memory of this pan-European sovereign of the 16th century.

Historical re-enactments, art festivals, traditional markets, parades, local festivities, etc. today commemorate the figure of Emperor Charles of Habsburg in different European regions. The traditional (sea and land) routes used personally by the Emperor are considered to have played an essential role in the configuration of the great cultural landscape of Early Modern Europe. The interest of the itinerary is not confined to history and art, but also includes the environment, traditional landscape or architecture.

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