1516: On the death of Fernando of Aragon, the Spanish Crown goes to Charles I of Spain and V of Germany, who unites under a single sceptre the Spanish kingdoms of Castile and Aragon, plus the Italian and European dominions of the Habsburgs.
1519: Charles is crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire (June 28th), which involves Spain in endless wars; the monarch confronts the Ottoman Empire, takes Francois I of France prisoner at Pavia and tries to solve the serious problem of the Reformation.
1556: Charles abdicates and enters the monastery of Yuste (where he dies two years later), dividing his dominions between his son Philip II and his younger brother Ferdinand I. Most of the Empire remains in the hands of the Spanish branch of the House of Austria.
1571: Don Juan de Austria, the half-brother of Philip II, defeats the Turks in the naval battle of Lepanto.
1588: Disaster of the Invencible Armada against England. The decline of Spains becomes more noticeable.
1700: With the death of Charles II, the dinasty of the Habsburg comes to an end and the War of the Spanish Succession breaks out, in which France, England and Austria are involved.
1714: The war ends. France imposes Philip of Anjou (Philip V), the grandson of Louis XIV, as king of Spain. Spain loses Belgium, Luxemburg, Milan, Naples, Sardinia, Minorca and Gibraltar.