The Family Legacy

Odkaz rodu

Nobility is a kind of permanent display of personal qualities fomented in descendants by their sense of origin and the examples of their ancestors. Bohuslav Balbín

Devotedly and Incessantly

Throughout their history the noblemen of Kolowraty have remained true to the definition of nobility by Bohuslav Balbín. Conforming to their motto, they have always remained loyal to their country, ruler, and God. Many members of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family have been recognised by the state for their patriotism.

  • Count František Antonín Kolowrat Libštejnsky (1778–1861) a moderate liberal and critic of Prince Metternich. Minister of State of Austrian Monarchy and, after 1848, briefly Prime Minister. He was not only a patron of Czech science and culture but also a supporter of the Czech National Revival.
  • Jan Nepomuk Karel Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1794–1872), known as Hanuš, pure patriot and philanthropist. He supported the Matice česká and inspired the character of Count Březenský in the novel The Village Under the Mountains by Božena Němcová.
  • Count Jindřich Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1897–1996) refused to join Konrad Heinlein and, during World War II., actively participated in the fight against fascism. He was rewarded for his bravery with The War Cross, presented to him by President Edward Beneš.

Patronal Tradition of the Family

Members of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family have always participated in the socio and economic development of the State and have always supported education and culture as well as supporting people who find themselves in difficult social and health situations.

  • Count František Antonín Kolowrat-Libštejnsky (1778–1861) played an important role in the foundation of the National Museum, to which he donated his mineralogical collection and his library amounting to 35 thousand volumes.
  • Jan Nepomuk Karel Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1794–1872), known as Hanuš, the last member of the Březno branch of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family. He made the largest donation for construction of the National Theatre.
  • Count Jindřich Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1897–1996) upon his return from exile,rented the Kolowrat Palace to the National Theatre for a symbolic amount of 1 Czech Crown per year for a period of 20 years.
  • Count František Tomáš Kolowrat-Krakowsky (1943–2004) in 1997 bought three new bells for the Roman St. George’s Church in Přimda, as the original bells were destroyed after World War II., and in 2002 he donated a considerable amount of money to the Red Cross to help people in need and to remedy damage caused by an extensive flood.

The Estate Must not Split

I shall keep the family property together and hand it over to the next generation at the very least in the same condition to which I received it. Count František Tomáš Kolowrat-Krakowsky

One of the main principles of the Kolowrat-Krakowsky family is to duly administer the family property and keep it for future generations. That is why Count Jindřich Kolowrat-Krakowsky(1897–1996) left his entire estate to his youngest son František Tomáš knowing that he would continue his work.

Just like any other noble family, the noblemen of Kolowraty created family trusteeships to prevent impoverishment of the family (fideikomis). The legally secured, indivisible, and untradeable property that passed to the heirs under the rules set by the testator, was administered by a trustee who was obliged to maintainthe property for the other family members. The fideikomis terminates upon the death of the last family member. In the Kolowrat family, the fideikomis passes, after the death of the last living member of one of the family branches, to the members of a surviving family branch.

„Blue Blood Purity“

On 15 September 1634, Emperor Ferdinand II. approved a document signed by the representatives of the Libstejnsky, Novohradsky, Bezdruzicky and Krakowsky branches, which later became law. According to this document, the descendants of a nobleman who married a common woman, would not be accepted as members of the relevant family branch, and their right to the coat of arms and the name Kolowrat would be denied. The fact that the law was really put into practice may be proven, among other things, by a legal action filed by Count Bohuslav Kolowrat-Krakowsky Libstejnsky (1876–1934) in 1905. According to this legal action, Count Leopold Kolowrat-Krakowsky wasn’t entitled to take over the family trusteeship, as his father (granduncle of Count Bohuslav) Leopold (1804-1863) had married Natalia Blaszcynska, a commoner. However, the Provincial Court dismissed the action referring to the Civil Code.

The family heritage

JUDr. Dominika Kolowrat-Krakowská, Maximilian Kolowrat-Krakowský and Francesca Kolowrat-Krakowská have decided to bring the sound of their last name into keeping with the historical tradition of the family name. The correct orthography of the name includes two „w’s“. Due to negligence on the part of state officials during the establishment of the Communist regime, the name was constantly stated inaccurately as Kolowrat-Krakovský and that was the form which the registry offices used in 1989.

This is a return to the roots of the old Bohemian family, which was for centuries known as Krakovský z Kolowrat.

The registry office has accepted this change at the family‘s request and so the family has returned to its historical family name Kolowrat-Krakowský.