Archduke Charles II of Inner Austria (Vienna June 3, 1540 – July 10, 1590 in Graz) was an Archduke of Austria and Regent of Inner Austria from the House of Habsburg from 1564.
He was the second oldest son of Emperor Ferdinand I. Other than his brother Maximilian II, he was a religious catholic and promoted the counterreformation, e.g. by inviting the Jesuits to his realm. However, in 1572, he had make significant concessions to the Inner Austrian Estates in the Religious Spacifications of Graz, and 1576 and the Libellum of Bruck. In practice, this resulted in tolerance towards protestantism.
As the Inner Austrian line had to bear the major burden of the wars against the Turks, the fortress of Karlstadt/Karlovac in Croatia was founded.
Charles is also remembered as a benefactor of the arts and sciences. In particular, the composer Orlando di Lasso was one of his protogees. In 1585, he founded the University of Graz, which is named Karl-Franzens-Universitšt after him.
His mausoleum in Seckau , in which also other members of the Habsburg family are buried, is one of the most important edifices of the early baroque in the South-Eastern Alps. It was built from 1587 onwards by Alessandro de Verda and completed by Sebastiano Carlone until 1612.
Charles married Maria Anna of Bavaria (1551-1608), the daughter of Albert V, Duke of Bavaria , who bore him the following children: