Emanuel Václav Kajetán Count Krakowský of Kolowrat
(December 26, 1700 Prague – June 14, 1769 Strakonice)
Chamberlain and Imperial Privy Council
Lieutenant Field Marshal
General of the cavalry and field infantry
Owner of the “Kolowrat” Dragoon Regiment (1753–1769)
51st Czech Grand Prior of the Order of the Knights of Malta (1754–1769)
Emanuel Václav was the youngest son of the first marriage of Maximilian Norbert Count Krakowský of Kolowrat (June 14, 1660 - March 25, 1721), who was Chamberlain and Imperial Privy Council, President of the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bohemia (1700-1704) Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece and owner of the estates of Týnec, Běšiny, Srbice, Dešenice, Janovice, Královský Hvozd, Petrovice, Dobrá Voda, Horní Krušec and Hořejší Těšov. His mother was Marie Barbora Countess of Vrbno and Freudenthal (July 2, 1666 – March 1, 1712).
His parents pre-destined him for the Order of the Knights of Malta already at the age of three. His studies were therefore focused on state theory and military science. In 1731, as expected, he entered the order and became a Komtur and third holder of the family commandery of Corporia Christi (Body of Christ) in Wroclaw and Losiów. He then resided in Malta for several years with the Grandmaster of the Order, which was then Frã Manoel Pinto de Fonseca (1741-1773). Emanuel Václav probably became his favorite, for the Grandmaster elevated him to the rank of bailiff and assigned him the Hungarian priory. From 1738, he served as Deputy Admiral of the ships of the line fleet.
On October 3, 1754, he was appointed a new Czech grand prior, enabling him to return to Bohemia. With the approval of Prussian King Frederick II., he was allowed to keep both the Wrocław and Loziów family commandery. As Grand Prior of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, Poland and Austria, Emanuel Václav Kajetán, alongside Strakonice, he governed the commendary properties of Ad S. S. Corpus Christi in Wrocław and Liosów and was also a Komtur in Striegau and Crossen.
One of his first acts after his return to Bohemia was the expansion of the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows at Podsrpa near Strakonice, and the pilgrimages to this church became very popular. At the order’s estates, he also commenced the emphyteutic (that under the laws of hereditary lease) sale of dominican (i.e. estate) plots, which were no longer profitable for the nobility, especially due to tax encumbrances.
In 1764, Grand Prior Kolowrat sold the house at Pohořelc (No. 114-IV), which had been ruined in the French-Bavarian invasion in 1742, to Karel Kučer, for a relatively low price. In the years 1764-1768, Kučer rebuilt the building into a Rococo style palace, which still bears his name - Kučera’s Palace (Kučerův palác).
In 1768, the rebuilding of older Renaissance buildings into the Baroque chateau in Varvazov (14 km north of Písek), ordered by Count Emanuel Václav, was completed. This newly-built residence served as a residence for grand priors and members of the order, until 1847, when Varvazov was purchased by Charles II. of Schwarzenberg.
As an officer, he took part in a number of battles - Malvic (April 10, 1741), Chotusic (May 17, 1742), Hohenfriedberg (June 7, 1745) and other battles during the Seven Years’ War. He especially distinguished himself in the Battle of Kolín (June 18, 1757), when Emanuel Václav won the battle and thereby contributed to the defeat of Frederick the Great. The grand prior’s name is listed on the monument to the battle at Křečhoř near Kolín. He also had the wayside shrine near Lošany built, by the road to Kolín.
Count Emanuel Václav Kajetán was also very gifted linguistically. He spoke fluent German, French, Italian and Spanish, while also being able to communicate in Czech, Polish and Russian. Grand Prior, Count Krakowský of Kolowrat was buried in the tomb of the order’s Church of St. Prokop, at the castle in Strakonice.