aquisgran carolus v emperor

How Albrecht Dürer watched the coronation of Emperor Charles V

Since 23rd October, this network of routes has held a series of web seminars to commemorate the 500th anniversary of this coronation

The coronation of Emperor Charles V, which this year celebrates its fifth centenary, was witnessed by an exceptional person: Albrecht Dürer, possibly the most important artist of the Renaissance. And he left in writing what he thought he watched.

Albrecht Dürer.

The coronation of the future Emperor Charles V gives us a lot to talk about. It was initially scheduled for 29th September 1520, but rumours of a possible plague epidemic forced the date to be postponed, because the future Charles V refused to be crowned in any city other than Aachen, where Charlemagne had been – his remains were buried there – centuries earlier. To those who recommended that he be crowned in another city of his choosing, since the archbishops of Cologne, Mainz and Trier would accompany him there, he replied that he would only be crowned in Aachen.

Consequently, the date of the coronation was set for 23rd October, almost a month later; when the city experienced a parade such as had never been seen there; with a parade the day before in which the Margrave of Brandenburg took part with his entourage. Next, high ranking figures of the Empire followed by nearly 3,000 infants in their three sections of harquebusiers, halberdiers and pikemen; the German Princes and Grand Princes of Spain; and finally, the future Charles V. After him, the cardinals of Salzburg, Sion and Toledo; and, closing the march, the royal guard.

aquisgran carolus v emperor
Aachen

The ceremony held on the 23rd was forever imprinted on the retina of one of the many present, the brilliant painter Albrecht Dürer, who summed it up in these words: “I, who have attended the entire show, have watched things so superb, precious and exquisite as none of the living have ever seen”.

 

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