Huguenot Wars
1562 - 1598

The Huguenot were the Protestants of France. The French kings, who allied themselves with the Protestant princes of Germany against the Habsburg emperors, none the less often persecuted the French Protestants. An attempt of conciliation was made when the Edict of Amboise sanctioned the existence of two different forms of Christianity.

The massacre of Huguenots at Vassy in 1562 began the Wars of Religion between the Catholics under the leadership of the Duke of Guise and the Huguenots under the leadership of Prince de Conde and the King of Navarre.

The war was interrupted briefly, but flared up again after the infamous
'St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre' in 1572 when nearly all leading Huguenots in Paris were slain, and thousands were killed throughout France.

After both, the king of France and the Duke of Guise were assassinated Henry of Navarre, a Protestant, became the legitimate heir to the throne. In order to pacify the nation Henry converted to the Catholic faith uttering the words: 'Paris is well worth a mass'. In 1598 the new king promulgated the Edict of Nantes, which granted the Huguenots their religious and political freedom.

Almost hundred years later, Louis XIV pronounced the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and it was not before the French Revolution (1789) that religious freedom was restored .