The Habsburg Monarchy (or Habsburg Empire) covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg (1278-1780), and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine (since 1780), between 1526 and 1867/1918. The capital was mainly Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when the capital was Prague. The monarchy from 1804 to 1867 is usually referred to as the "Austrian Empire" and from 1867 to 1918 as "Austria-Hungary". In some contexts, the term "Habsburg Empire" might also refer to extended Habsburg family possessions once ruled solely by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, or to the Spanish Empire ruled by the senior Spanish branch of the house.
The Habsburg family originated with the Habsburg Castle in modern Switzerland and after 1278 came to rule in Austria (the Habsburg Hereditary Lands). The Habsburg family grew to European prominence with the marriage and adoption treaty by Emperor Maximilian I at the First Congress of Vienna in 1515 and the subsequent death of adopted Louis II (King of Bohemia and Hungary and Croatia) in 1526. Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, the younger brother of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, was elected the next King of Bohemia, Croatia and Hungary following the death of Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia, in a battle against the Turks at Mohács. From this point the Monarchy grew to a size where at times, it ruled more than half of Europe.
- "Czech Republic - Historic Centre of Prague (1992)" Heindorffhus, August 2007, webpage: HeindorffHus-Czech.