Charles' election as Emperor in 1519, of which he wrote that 'there is nothing in this world we want more', was achieved by bribery, propaganda and the subtle threat of force. The seven electors regarded the Imperial election as a means to extort money and promises of future privileges from all the candidates.
Mechelen is a wonderful place to start finding out about the life of Emperor Charles V. Lying between Brussels and Antwerp, it is readily accessible and everywhere in the central area is easily walkable.
Ubeda is only a few kilometres from Baeza and is also well worth a visit. The home of Francisco de los Cobos, Charles V's chief administrator in Spain for 20 years, it reached it peak in the 16th century.