Birth of the Dynasty
Albrecht the Elder of Kolowrat, whose ancestors came from the village of Kolovraty, is considered to be the founder of the dynasty. Being a hetman and the court marshal of Anna of Schweidnitz (wife of Charles IV), and an assessor of the provincial and royal feudal court, he entered the historical annals in 1347 when Rožmitál castle was sold and he was mentioned as an assessing witness. He married three times and had eight children, six of which were sons who later laid the foundations of the House of Kolowrat. In 1373, Albrecht of Kolowrat established an Augustinian monastery of the Assumption in Ročov, where he was later buried.
Branches of the Dynasty
During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Kolowrat family split into eight family branches:
- and the last surviving, Krakowsky.
The Kolowrat are a venerable Czech noble family, originally hailing from Central Bohemia, with a family history reaching all the way back to the 13th century. The Kolowrat family played a significant role in history and politics in Bohemia, and throughout Central Europe. Many Kolowrat family members were patrons of the arts, culture, education, and the economic and building growth of the nation, engaged in its socioeconomic development. Their ranks include holders of inherited imperial and Czech titles and knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Many of them were also awarded high military, imperial and papal honors. Members of the family held various important offices, entering the annals of history. These included field marshals, prime ministers, high chancellors, royal governors, governors, ambassadors, archbishops and supporters of the Czech National Revival movement.
The Kolowrat-Krakowsky line
The Kolowrat-Krakowskýs lineage derives their name from the Krakovec castle situated not far from Rakovník in Central Bohemia. Albrecht of Kolowrat (1422–1470) acquired this castle and established the largest branch of the Kolowrats which still continues to this day. One of the most prominent members of this lineage, who was very well liked by the Austrian Empress Maria Theresia and was a holder of the Order of the Golden Fleece, was Count Leopold Vilém (1727–1809). With two wives, Leopold Vilém had seventeen children, out of whom the youngest – Count František Xaver (1783–1855) – is the common ancestor of all currently living descendants of the Lords of Kolowrat. His eldest son Leopold (1804–1884) established the "Týn" lineage, also known as "Leopold's", whilst his second son Theodor (1806–1875) established the "Rychnovian" lineage, also known as "Theodor's". Nowadays, the descendants of the Leopold's lineage of the Kolowrat-Krakowskýs manage the forests around Tachov and Klatovy, as well as own property in Prague. Theodor's descendants, on the other hand, reside not far from Rychnov nad Kněžnou and currently use the combined family name Krakowský-Liebsteinský of Kolowrat. The manor of Rychnov and Černíkovice is currently managed by Count Jan Egon, the son of Count Kryštof Jaroslav (1927–1999), who returned from exile in Austria after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.
Leopold Filip Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1852–1910) became the administrator of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family property in the second half of the 19th century. He was a member of the Imperial Council and the Czech Assembly, Second Class Knight of the Order of the Iron Crown. Apart from the Přimda estate and the estate in Klatovsko, he also administered the Kolowrat Palace and the New Kolowrat Palace at Na Příkopě 17 in Prague.
The successor of Count Leopold Filip and the new owner of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky estate became his oldest son Alexander Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1886–1927). Alexander, called Sascha, was not only a successful car and motorcycle racing driver but also a very successful film producer, with Sascha-Film company, whose biggest contribution to the world's film industry was the discovery of Marlene Dietrich. As a racing driver he received many awards and became the right hand of Václav Klement, owner of Laurin and Klement car factory. In his honour there is an annual gathering of historic cars, together with a tour around Přimda and a visit to the neighbouring towns in Bavaria.
When Count Sascha lost his battle with cancer in 1927, his brother Jindřich Vilém Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1897–1996) became administrator of the estate. Count Jindřich built one of the most modern buildings of its time, the Functionalist Palace Chicago. He founded the Wooden Houses Kolowrat where he employed 600 permanent workers, and duly administered the family estate until 1943, when the estate was nationalized by the Nazi Germany. Although the estate was given back to him in 1945 by a Decree of President Edvard Beneš, in 1948 it was again nationalized, this time by the Communist regime. Count Jindřich, a holder of the War Cross, received during World War II from President Edvard Beneš, for whom he served from 1945 to 1948 as ambassador in Ankara, then emigrated with his family to the United States.
The property of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family was nationalized after February 1948, and in 1950, the timber company was dissolved. From 1960, the hunting lodge Diana served as a retirement home.
The property was returned to the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family through the restitution process in 1992, and Count Jindřich Kolowrat-Krakowsky returned to Czechoslovakia together with his youngest son, František Tomáš Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1943–2004). In 1991, Count Jindřich received the Order of Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, Second Class, from President Václav Havel. In 1993, he rented the Kolowrat Palace to the National Theatre for a symbolic amount of 1 Czech Crown per year.
Count Jindřich Vilém Kolowrat-Krakowsky died in 1996 at the age of 98, and his son František Tomáš Kolowrat-Krakowsky became his only heir and successor. František Tomáš was the only one of Jindřich's children who came back with his father from the United States and who stayed in Czechoslovakia for good.
Count František Tomáš repaired the Hraničky Ponds and the Václavský Pond, which came to form part of an important sporting event – the Přimda Triathlon. He built private wood roads that became part of cycle paths, and which now connect different areas of the Upper Palatine Forrest. In an effort to increase tourism and develop the town of Přimda, he bought the ruins of Přimda castle and converted it into the attractive Mountain Hotel Kolowrat.
Count Tomáš continued the patronal tradition of his ancestors and participated in the cultural and social development of the region. He also helped people in difficult social situations. In 1997, he bought three new bells for the Roman St. George's Church in Přimda, as the original bells had been destroyed after World War II. He personally donated a considerable amount of money to the Red Cross to help people in need and to remedy damage caused by an extensive flood in 2002. He made regular charity donations and supported people who found themselves in difficult social and health situations. He also supported schools, culture and other important events. In 2001, the Forestry of František Tomáš Kolowrat-Krakowsky was ranked in the top 100 companies of agricultural production, food industry and forestry. He was recognized by Comenius - the Pan-European Society for Culture, Education and Scientific and Technical Cooperation.
Count František Tomáš Kolowrat-Krakowsky died prematurely in 2004. After his death, Dominika Kolowrat-Krakowska became the new administrator of the family property.
Besides Leopold's Kolowrat-Krakowsky branch, there are also descendants of Leopold's younger brother Theodor Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1806–1875) living in the Czech Republic. Their residence in Rychnovsko is administered by Jan Egon Kolowrat Krakowsky-Libstejnsky, the son of Count Kryštof Jaroslav Kolowrat Krakowsky-Libstejnsky, who, after 1989, returned from exile in Austria.
- Albrecht the older Lord of Kolowraty († 1391), Founder of the St. Augustine's order's monastery in Dolni Rocov
- Albrecht the younger Lord of Kolowraty (mentioned 1369–1416), Co-founder of the Augustinian monastery in Dolni Rocov
- Albrecht I. Lord of Kolowrat (mentioned 1422–1470), Associate of the Feudal court
- Jindřich Albrecht Lord of Kolowrat and Krakovec (mentioned 1479–1530), The highest judge of feudal court in Bohemia
- Albrecht II. Lord of Kolowrat (mentioned 1503–1542), Governor of Rakovník region
- Jan Lord Kolowrat-Krakowsky (mentioned 1530–1555), Governor of Rakovnik region
- Kryštof Jindřich Lord Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1549–1596), Governor of Rakovnik region
- Bohuslav Jiří Lord Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1596–1638/41), Chamberlain and Imperial Council
- Vilém Albrecht I. Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1600–1688), Chief Feudal judge and chief bailiff of the Czech kingdom, Sponsor
- Kryštof Jaroslav Lord Krakowsky of Kolowrat (mentioned 1604–1659), Imperial Council, Associate of feudal chambre court, Sponsor
- Jan František Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1649–1723), The Highest Chancellor of the Kingdom of Bohemia, Royal Commissioner
- Albrecht Jindřich Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1655–1704), Governor of the Rakovník region
- Maximilian Norbert Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1660–1721), Supreme Provincial Chamberlain, President of the Appellate Council in Bohemia, Sponsor
- Vilém Albrecht II. Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat, Baron of Újezd (1678–1738), The Highest Chancellor of the Bohemian Royal Court
- Filip Nerius (Neri) Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1686–1773), Knight of the Golden Fleece, Grand Burgrave, Supreme Judge
- Kajetán František Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1689–1769), Field marshal and military commander in Moravia
- Emanuel Václav Kajetán Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1700–1769), Cavalry General, The owner of the Kolowrat dragoon regiment, Grand Prior of the Order of Malta
- Prokop Jan Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat, Baron of Újezd (1718–1774), Supreme feudal judge, Supreme Judge in Bohemia
- Leopold Vilém Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1727–1809), Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, The supreme Czech-Austrian Chancellor, First Minister of State and Conference Minister
- Jan Nepomuk Karel Josef Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat, Baron of Újezd (1748–1816), Commander of the Order of the Knights of Malta, Commanding general in Bohemia, Lieutenant Field Marshal
- Alois Josef Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat, baron of Újezd, (1759–1833), Archbishop of Prague
- František Xaver I. Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1783–1855), Chamberlain, Lieutenant-Colonel (Oberstleutnant)
- Jan Nepomuk Karel (called Hanuš) Count Krakowský-Nowohradský of Kolowrat, Baron of Újezd (1794–1872), Honorable Knight of the Order of the Knights of Malta, Chamberlain, Imperial Privy Council, Sponsor
- František Xaver II. Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1803–1873), Czech grand prior of the Maltese knights order, The ambassador at the imperial court in Vienna
- Leopold Maria Meinrad Adam Camillo Johann Nepomuk Raimund Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1804–1863), Field Marshal, the right hand of Marshal Jan Josef Václav Count Radecký of Radeč
- Leopold Filip Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1852–1910), Member of the Imperial Council and the Czech Assembly, Second Class knight of the Order of the Iron Crown
- Alexandr Joseph Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1886–1927), Film producer, car and motorcycle racing driver
- Bertha née Countess Krakowsky of Kolowrat, Countess of Colloredo-Mannsfeld (1890-1982), grandmother and guardian of Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff
- Jindřich Josef Vilém Albrecht Pavel Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1897–1996), Politician, visionary and restorer of the family estate
- František Sal. Tomáš Karel Count Krakowsky of Kolowrat (1943–2004), Charming and kind-hearted continuer of the family property administration
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