Ludmila Eva Františka Countess Krakowská of Kolowrat – Patron of the Prague Loreto to a greater glory of God
The Prague Sun is the name of the most valuable Czech baroque sunbeam monstrance, made of pure gold and thousands of diamonds, and a part of the Loreto treasure. The diamond monstrance was made to order for the Prague Loreto at the instigation of Ludmila Eva Frantiska Countess Krakowska of Kolowrat, née Hiserl of Chodov, fifth wife of the highest governor and provincial judge, Count Vilem Albrecht I.
Countess Ludmila Eva dedicated her entire life to charitable activities and patronage. She was responsible for the development of the Loreta at Hradčany. Thanks to her, the St. Joseph Chapel was built here in 1691. Countess Kolowrat-Krakowská was one of the most important benefactors of this sacred place, which is why there is a painting depicting her by the entrance to the treasury. The portrait shows her in her wedding dress set with more than 6,500 diamonds. In her will of April 20, 1695, she bequeathed the precious gemstones, as well as her gold and silver, to the Capuchin monks at Hradčany.
The Prague Sun diamond monstrance, crafted from the diamonds and precious metals which Ludmila Eva Kolowrat-Krakowská left to the Loreto, was commissioned by the main Loreto patrons Václav Ferdinand Count Lobkowicz and his wife Maria Sophia, née Dietrichstein. Maria Sophia and her brother, Filip of Dietrichstein, had the monstrance made in Vienna. They even engaged the renowned baroque architect, Johann Bernhard Fischer of Erlach, to create the design. The sunbeam monstrance was made by goldsmith Johann Baptista Khünischbauer (Känischbauer) and jeweler Matthias Stegner between the years 1696–1699. The finished work was so valuable that during its transport to Prague, it was accompanied by an escort of armed soldiers.
As a grand patron of the Prague Loreto, Ludmila Eva Františka Kolowrat-Krakowská was laid to rest directly in the Santa Casa, in the “heart of the Loreto”. She is buried beneath the floor tiles of the chapel, that is, above the vault of the crypt, as attested to in the Loreto archival materials. The crypt itself was designated as the final resting place for members of Lobkowicz patronage family.