František Xaver Count Krakowský from Kolowrat
5th June 1803 – 15th June 1873
Chamberlain and Imperial Privy Councillor to the Imperial court.
Member of the Austrian House of Lords, appointed for life
58th Grand Prior of the Order of Malta in Bohemia (1867 – 1873)
Order of Leopold
The Supreme Order of Christ
A son of Count Arnošt Josef Krakowský of Kolowrat (1774 – 1830) and Baroness Johanna Helversen of Helversheim (1776 – 1839).
After joining the Order of Malta, František Xaver held several positions, including the office of the Receptor (consignee of annuities). Before being appointed to the office of the Grand Prior, the Order’s Lieutenant Friar, Alessandro Borgia, named him as the order’s emissary to the Imperial Court in Vienna.
Previously, when holding the offices of Grand Bailiff and Knight Commander of the Principality of Opava (1847 – 1867), he initiated the establishment of the first military infirmary of the Order of Malta. This happened only several days before the outburst of the Austro-Prussian War (Jun – Jul 1866) and the infirmary served its purpose until the end of 1866.
In 1867, the Grand Priory of Bohemia gained ownership of the manor of Dětenice. Grand Prior Kolowrat enjoyed spending time in Dětenice and he even became an honorary townsman. During the period of his residence there, the manor included the castle with an adjacent park but also the farmsteads of Dětenice, Nový Dvůr, Osenice, and Filipín, forming a manor of 370 hectares (914 acres). The manor also included a brewery, a brickyard, a distillery, and two mills.
On 2nd December 1867, František Xaver took office as the Grand Prior. Later that year, he began remodelling the Strakonice Castle moat into a romantic park. He also contributed to the construction of a new iron bridge across the Otava river. In 1870, he proposed that the members of the Order wear uniforms. This idea was positively received and in 1879 regulations about the design of the Order’s uniforms were issued.
Grand Prior František Xaver, Count Krakowský of Kolowrat achieved many other high-ranking positions and offices. He was a Chamberlain and Imperial Privy Councillor to the Imperial Court, a knight of the Order of Leopold, a commander of the Portuguese Supreme Order of Christ as well as a member of the Austrian House of Lords, appointed for life.
Unless travelling or staying in Vienna, he mainly resided in Strakonice where he also later died and was buried in the Order’s crypt in St. Prokop’s Church at Strakonice Castle. His historical impact is also commemorated in the Church of Our Lady Beneath the Chain in Prague where his oval-shaped shield of gilded metal with a painted coat of arms is hanged at the epistle side of the main nave, above the first arch leading to the right-side nave of the church.