campuscarlosv The European Academy of Yuste Foundation and the University of Extremadura have today initiated the course titled Charles V and the idea of Europe. Different points of view, as part of the Campus Yuste program.

At the start of the course, Jaime Contreras, Professor of Modern History at the University of Alcalá de Henares and Course Director, explained that “the course aims to analyse and compare the Europe conceived by Charles V and the realities of the world we live in, particularly with a fragmented Europe.” Professor Contreras pointed out that the Emperor was the first person to have a “global appreciation of Europe” and added that today our continent is culture in a dichotomous sense because “it invented reason but also totalitarianism”.

As for Enrique Barrasa, the Director General for External Action and the Director of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation, he stressed that “freedom and academic rigour” are the elements which distinguish the Foundation’s activities. According to Barrasa, there are four key elements which contextualize the course: the background, the moment, the place and the characters. The background refers to the study of the figure of Charles V, the moment refers to the current situation, “marked by the debate on the economy and identity of Europe”, the place is the Royal Monastery of Yuste, “one of the best places for studying and soaking up the Emperor’s philosophy” and the characters are “the academic world, you who here today, addressing history with professionalism, historical rigour and freedom”.

The holding of this course on the figure of Charles V has great significance in that it is being conducted in the Monastery of Yuste, a location of great symbolic value where the Emperor chose to spend the last days of his life.

For three days, the course will delve into the political facet of Charles I of Spain and V of Germany throughout his reign, as well as studying the origins of the monarch’s empire and how he managed to govern such heterogeneous territories, religion as a constituent and unifying element of all the territories and the conflicts with countries like France and Britain which opposed the idea of empire he sought. In addition to these thematic issues, aspects related to the discovery of America and the government and administration of the overseas territories will be covered.

All these visions will be offered by professors from different universities, experts from the CSIC and Gustaaf Janssens, the former archivist of the Royal Palace in Brussels and a member of the European Academy of Yuste, who will also present an unpublished biography about Charles V, written in Spanish by Louis-Prosper Gachard, the Belgian Hispanist. He has made a preliminary study of the work, which he will present under the title Charles V in European historiography, according to Louis-Prosper Gachard. A modern biography of the nineteenth century.


The course titled Charles V and the idea of Europe forms part of the activities of the European Routes of Charles V, scheduled on the occasion of the granting of a European Cultural Route mention and promoted by the Route Cooperation Network in collaboration with the European Academy of Yuste Foundation.

The European Institute of Cultural Routes of the Council of Europe unanimously approved the awarding of the European Cultural Route Certificate of the Council of Europe last May, recognizing the cultural significance, tourist exposure and symbolic value of the Routes of Charles V, including the one in Extremadura.

This declaration gives greater prestige and visibility to and revitalises a legacy based on the career, historical incarnations and artistic, political, cultural, academic and social legacy of the last Emperor of Europe, a legacy which constitutes a cultural and historical reference for the  peoples of the continent.