Portrait of Ferdinand II (1529-1595), Archduke of Further Austria, ruler of Tirol (1564-1595), Governor (Regent) of Bohemia (1547-1567)
Ferdinand II, Archduke of Further Austria (Linz, 14 June 1529 – 24 January 1595, Innsbruck) was ruler of Further Austria including Tirol. 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. 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. After his father's death in 1564, Ferdinand became the ruler of Tirol 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. 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. After the death of his wife Philippine in 1580, he married Anna Caterina Gonzaga, 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 lands. His daughter from the Mantuan marriage to Anna Caterina (later Anna Juliana) became Holy Roman Empress Anna, consort of Emperor Mathias, who received his Further Austrian inheritance.
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