Baroque Entrepreneur Leopold Vilém I. Count Krakowský of Kolowrat
Count Leopold Vilém I. was a Baroque nobleman in all respects, excelling in his education and exceptional abilities. He was especially a great politician. He achieved the post of first state and conference minister, becoming head of the supreme state authority. Leopold enjoyed the trust of many monarchs who rewarded him with numerous awards for his services. He became holder of the Hungarian order of St. Stephen and Leopold's order, and in 1782, he even received the Order of the Golden Fleece from Emperor Joseph II.
Besides his political ambitions, he had an incredible knack for business and the spirit of a true entrepreneur. Following his father's example, he devoted himself to acquiring property and expanding his land holdings. He was often able to do this because of his good social status, family ties or marriage laws. Price speculation worked well for him and, thanks to fortuitous purchases and subsequent sales, he created considerable wealth, which he was able to further appreciate. He contributed to the improvement of all his estates. He undertook renovation projects and was responsible for construction of several important buildings.
Count Leopold Vilém’s most important economic achievements included the extension of Jeníkov manor (today Golčův Jeníkov). He had a state tobacco factory established there, for which he built the Upper and Lower Chateau. As the largest tobacco factory in the country, it generated an annual profit of 6,000 gulden for him and provided employment for local inhabitants. He was the first in Europe to set up a so-called “needle mill” in Jeníkov, a unique needle factory. He was also not afraid to implement modern agricultural methods on his estates.