The Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was founded in 800 with the coronation of Charlemagne as emperor by the pope, and was dissolved in 1806. ‘What was the Holy Roman Empire?’ explains that the original Frankish kingdom was a tribal society that followed an elected leader. On this foundation subsequent ruling dynasties developed what became a fully fledged feudal system. From the middle of the 14th century, the empire developed institutional and legal structures that ultimately became more important than the feudal relationship between the emperor and his vassals. The territories of the empire and its imperial coronations and insignia are described.