Portrait of Ernest of Austria (1553-1595), Archduke; Governor in the Archduchy of Austria (German: Statthalter von Niederösterreich) from 1576 to1593; Governor of Inner Austria (German: Regent von Innerösterreich) from 1590 to 1593; Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands (1594-1595)
Archduke Ernest of Austria (German: Ernst von Österreich; 15 June 1553 – 20 February 1595) was an Austrian prince, the son of Maximilian II, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria of Spain. Born in Vienna, he was educated with his brother Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, in the court of Spain. In 1573 and 1587, he was a candidate for the throne of Poland. From 1576 onwards, he was governor in the Archduchy of Austria, where he promoted the counterreformation. In 1590, he became governor of Inner Austria as regent for his young cousin Ferdinand, and from 1594 to 1595 he served as governor of the Spanish Netherlands. He died in Brussels in 1595.
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