- Historical event
- 21 May 1527
- His properties were described as "the empire on which the sun never sets". Namely, he owned properties in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Philip II of Spain was the only man in history who held the titles of King of England, France, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Naples, and Jerusalem during his life.
Philip II Habsburg, one of the most powerful kings ever, was born on this day in 1527.
He was King of Spain and Portugal during their colonial expansion of the American, African and Asian continent.
At the time, the Spanish colonies covered much of North, Central and South America as well as present-day Chile and Argentina.
The Portuguese colonies, which were also under the rule of Philip II, included many strongholds in India, today’s Indonesia, Arabia, Africa, on the Chinese coast, and stretched all the way to Japan.
The Philippines were also a part of Philip’s colonial empire, and named in his honor. This island country had been under Spanish rule for centuries. Today, it is the largest Roman Catholic country in Asia.
Many territories in Europe were under his control. Philip II of Spain ruled the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), areas of present-day Netherlands and Belgium (Spanish Netherlands), Southern Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia.
The rich Italian region of Lombardy was an important source of finance for him. He also owned properties in France (the so-called Franche-Comté and Charolais), and in North Africa.
Interestingly, Philip married the English Queen Mary Tudor, and became King of England and Ireland. At the time, the kings and queens of England also claimed the throne of France, and Philip II assumed the title and emblem of a French king.
Therefore, he established control over the western monarchies, and also held the tile of King of Jerusalem.
King Philip II was a defender of Catholicism when much of Europe was affected by Protestantism. He was very devout. For example, he had his room bulit (in the palace known as “El Escorial”) so he could see the main altar of the Church, which was the core of the mentioned palace.
Namely, most of “El Escorial” was a monastery, and the royal chambers were only a part of the palace. Philip II of Spain had very important role as the defender of the Christian faith against the Ottoman Empire, which tried to expand into Europe at the time.