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Ferdinand II
Archduke of Further Austria
Reign 1564-1595
Predecessor Ferdinand I
Successor Matthias
Spouse Philippine Welser
Anne Juliana Gonzaga
Father Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Anna of Hungary
Born 14 June 1529
Linz, Austria
Died 24 January 1595

Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria (Linz, 14 June 1529 – Innsbruck, 24 January 1595) was ruler of Further Austria including Tirol.


Life account

Archduke Ferdinand in young age

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 into charge of the administration of Bohemia in 1547. Also, he led the campaign against the Turks in Hungary in 1556.

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 permitted 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 would become totally extinct in the male line (Also see: morganatic marriage). The sons born of this marriage received the title Margrave of Burgau, an old Habsburg possession in Further Austria. The younger of the sons, who survived his father, later received princely rank, becoming Fürst zu Burgau.

After his father's death in 1564, Ferdinand received the rulership over Tirol and other Further Austrian possessions under his father's will. However, he remained as governor of Bohemia in Prague until 1567 following the wishes of his brother Maximilian II.

In his own lands, Ferdinand made sure that the Catholic counterreformation would prevail. Since he was an avid collector of art, the collection of the famous Castle Ambras was started in his time. He had begun to work on it even during his time in Bohemia and subsequently moved it to Tyrol. In particular, the gallery of portraits and the collection of armor were highly expensive, which is why the archduke had incurred a high level of debt. Today, those collections are in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

After the death of Philippine in 1580, he married Anne Catherine, a daughter of William I, Duke of Mantua, in 1582.

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, Tirol was reunified with the other Habsburg lines. His daughter from the Mantuan marriage became the Empress Anna, consort of Emperor Mathias, who received his Further Austrian inheritance.


Philippine Welser, Ferdinand's first wife

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

On 14 May 1582, Ferdinand married his niece Anne Catherine. She was a daughter of William I, Duke of Mantua and Eleonora of Austria, younger sister of Ferdinand. They were parents to three daughters:

  • Anna Eleonore of Austria (26 June 1583 - 15 January 1584).
  • Maria of Austria (16 June 1584 - 2 March 1649), a nun.
  • Anna of Austria (4 October 1585 - 14 December/15 December 1618). Married her first cousin Matthias, Holy Roman Emperor.

He had at least two illegitimate children:

–With Anna von Obrizon[2]:

  • Veronika von Villanders (1551 - 1589). Married Giovan Francesco di Gonzaga-Novellara, Lord of Campitello.

–With Johanna Lydl von Mayenburg[3]:

  • Hans Christoph von Hertenberg (c. 1592 - 2 September 1613). Married Ursula Gienger.


Ferdinand's ancestors in three generations
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria Father:
Ferdinand I, Holy Roman Emperor
Paternal Grandfather:
Philip I of Castile
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Mary of Burgundy
Paternal Grandmother:
Joanna of Castile
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Ferdinand II of Aragon
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Isabella of Castile
Anna of Bohemia and Hungary
Maternal Grandfather:
Vladislaus II of Bohemia and Hungary
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Casimir IV Jagiellon
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Elisabeth of Austria
Maternal Grandmother:
Anna of Foix-Candale
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Gaston de Foix, Count of Candale
Maternal Great-grandmother:
Infanta Catherine of Navarre


  1. ^ The Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church - Biographical Dictionary - Consistory of 19 November 1576
  2. ^
  3. ^

External links

Preceded by
Ferdinand I
Archduke of Further Austria Succeeded by
Rudolph II who allowed succession by:
Mathias, Archduke of Further Austria
governor appointed by Mathias: Maximilian III, Archduke of Austria


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