Henri II (1547-1559), continuing the policy of François 1st, starts again in 1552 the fight against Charles-Quint with the assistance of the Turks and the Protestants of Germany.
He seizes the three évêchés, Metz, Toul and Verdun (1552); Charles-Quint tries to take again Metz, but it encounters a heroic resistance and is seen constrained with a disastrous retirement (January 1553).
At the same time the Turks advance in Hungary, and the Protestants strengthen themselves.
Forced to give up his dreams of universal monarchy and the re-establishment of Catholicism in Germany, the old emperor signs with Henri II the truce of Vaucelles (1556), and withdraws himself in a convent of Spain.
Its power is divided between his son Philippe II and his Ferdinand brother.