"The Emperor Rudolf is the most enlightened ruler in Europe"
Emperor Rudolf II
Public DomainEmperor Rudolf II - Credit: wikimedia commons

Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II was King of Hungary and Croatia, King of Bohemia, and Archduke of Austria. He was a great patron of arts and the occult sciences. Although a Catholic, he was tolerant of Protestantism, Judaism and other religions. His determination not to take sides caused political chaos. However, his tolerance did not extend to the Ottoman Turks, with whom he started a long and exhausting war. Eventually, in 1611 Rudolf was forced to abandon the throne in favour of his brother.