Ferdinand II
Portrait by Francesco Terzi
Archduke of Further Austria
Reign25 July 1564 – 24 January 1595
PredecessorFerdinand I
Born(1529-06-14)14 June 1529
Linz, Archduchy of Austria, Holy Roman Empire
Died24 January 1595(1595-01-24) (aged 65)
Innsbruck, County of Tyrol, Holy Roman Empire
(m. 1557; died 1580)
(m. 1582)
FatherFerdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherAnna of Hungary

Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria (Linz, 14 June 1529 – 24 January 1595, Innsbruck) was ruler of Further Austria and since 1564 Imperial count of Tyrol. The son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor, he was married to Philippine Welser in his first marriage. In his second marriage to Anna Juliana Gonzaga, he was the father of Anna of Tyrol, future Holy Roman Empress.


Archduke Ferdinand at a young age
Engraving of Ferdinand, published in New Reformierte Landts-Ordnung Der Fürstlichen Graffschafft Tyrol Wie Die Auss Lands-Fürstlichem Befelch, Im 1603

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria was the second son of Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor and Anna of Bohemia and Hungary. He was a younger brother of Emperor Maximilian II. At the behest of his father, he was put in charge of the administration of Bohemia in 1547. He also led the campaign against the Turks in Hungary in 1556.[1]

In 1557, he was secretly married to Philippine Welser, daughter of a patrician from Augsburg, with whom he had several children. The marriage was only accepted by Emperor Ferdinand I in 1559 under the condition of secrecy. The children were to receive the name "of Austria" but would only be entitled to inherit if the House of Habsburg became totally extinct in the male line, and thus the marriage had many qualities of a morganatic marriage. The sons born of this marriage received the title Margrave of Burgau, an ancient Habsburg possession in Further Austria. The younger of the sons, who survived their father, later received the princely title of Fürst zu Burgau.[2]

After his father's death in 1564, Ferdinand became the ruler of Tyrol and other Further Austrian possessions under his father's will. However, he remained governor of Bohemia in Prague until 1567 according to the wishes of his brother Maximilian II.[citation needed]

In his own lands, Ferdinand made sure that the Catholic counter-reformation would prevail. He also was instrumental in promoting the Renaissance in central Europe and was an avid collector of art. He accommodated his world-famous collections in a museum built specifically for that purpose, making Ambras Castle the oldest museum in the world, and as the only Renaissance Kunstkammer of its kind to have been preserved at its original location, the Chamber of Art and Curiosities at Ambras Castle represents an unrivalled cultural monument.[citation needed] The collection was started during Ferdinand's time in Bohemia, and he subsequently moved it to Tyrol. In particular, the Chamber of Art and Curiosities, the gallery of portraits, and the collection of armor were very expensive, leading Ferdinand to incur a high level of debt. Part of the collections remained in Innsbruck, and part ultimately was moved to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.[citation needed]

After the death of his wife Philippine in 1580, he married his niece, Anna Caterina Gonzaga, a daughter of William I, Duke of Mantua, in 1582.[citation needed]

Archduke Ferdinand died on 24 January 1595. Since his sons from the first marriage were not entitled to the inheritance, and the second produced only surviving daughters, Tyrol was reunified with the other Habsburg lands. His daughter from the Mantuan marriage to Anna Caterina (later Anna Juliana) became Empress Anna, consort of Mathias, Holy Roman Emperor, who received his Further Austrian inheritance.[citation needed]


Philippine Welser, Ferdinand's first wife
Anne Catherine Gonzaga Ferdinand's second wife

He and his first wife Philippine Welser were parents of four children:

On 14 May 1582, Ferdinand married his niece Anna Caterina Gonzaga. She was a daughter of William I, Duke of Mantua, and Eleonora of Austria, younger sister of Ferdinand. They were parents to three daughters:[4]

He had at least two illegitimate children:

With Anna von Obrizon:[5]

With Johanna Lydl von Mayenburg:[6]


Male-line family tree


  1. ^ Jörg Konrad Hoensch (1997). Geschichte Böhmens: von der slavischen Landnahme bis zur Gegenwart. C.H.Beck. p. 194. ISBN 978-3-406-41694-1.
  2. ^ Matthias Weller; Nicolai B. Kemle; Thomas Dreier (30 January 2020). Handel – Provenienz – Restitution: Tagungsband des Zwölften Heidelberger Kunstrechtstags am 20. und 24. Oktober 2018. Nomos Verlag. pp. 48–. ISBN 978-3-7489-0560-8.
  3. ^ The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church – Biographical Dictionary – Consistory of 19 November 1576
  4. ^ Wurzbach: Anna Katherina von Mantua, vol. 31. In: Biographisches Lexikon, Vienna 1860, p. 154.
  5. ^ Stamboom-boden.com
  6. ^ Stamboom-boden.com
  7. ^ a b c d Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Joanna" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 15 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  8. ^ a b c d Priebatsch, Felix (1908), "Wladislaw II.", Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (in German), vol. 54, Leipzig: Duncker & Humblot, pp. 688–696
  9. ^ a b Wurzbach, Constantin von, ed. (1861). "Habsburg, Philipp I. der Schöne von Oesterreich" . Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich [Biographical Encyclopedia of the Austrian Empire] (in German). Vol. 7. p. 112 – via Wikisource.
  10. ^ Boureau, Alain (1995). The Lord's First Night: The Myth of the Droit de Cuissage. Translated by Cochrane, Lydia G. The University of Chicago Press. p. 96.
  11. ^ Noubel, P., ed. (1877). Revue de l'Agenais [Review of the Agenais]. Vol. 4. Société académique d'Agen. p. 497.

Media related to Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded byFerdinand I Archduke of Further Austria 1564–1595 Succeeded byRudolph II who allowed succession by:Mathias, Archduke of Further Austriagovernor appointed by Mathias: Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria