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Heinrich IV.

Porträt Heinrich IV. The French king Henry IV (1553-1610), the first of the Bourbons, is considered a great connoisseur among the French kings and was also a very special wine lover (in some sources he is called a "drunkard"). There are countless incidents and partly legendary stories about him in connection with wine. Henry IV was baptized Roman Catholic, but changed his faith several times. As King Henry of Navarre he was a Huguenot (Protestant) leader. After protracted battles with the French Catholics, he was up for discussion as French King, but was not recognised by the Catholic League. Therefore he converted to Catholicism again in 1593.

He described his conversion as a "dangerous leap" (le saut périlleux). In this context, his saying "Paris is worth a mass" (Paris vaut bien une messe) has been handed down but was later put into his mouth by the Protestants. He also introduced the "Carabiniers du Roi", the predecessors of the musketeers as the bodyguard of the king. This was of no use to him, as he was murdered by a Catholic fanatic (this was, by the way, the 18th assassination attempt that was made on him).

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