Philanthropist Hanuš Count Krakowský-Nowohradský of Kolowrat

Jan Nepomuk Karel Count Krakowský-Nowohradský of Kolowrat, with the predicate Baron of Újezd, is better known as Hanuš. During his lifetime, he established himself in politics and government, became part of the Order of the Knights of Malta and achieved high honors and awards. He was a good landlord of an extensive estate, where he was responsible for abundant construction work. He became famous especially as a generous patron and promoter of national awareness and culture. We also know him through the work of author Božena Němcová, who portrayed him as Hanuš Březenský in her famous novel. Count Hanuš often lived at Březnice, literally falling in love with the chateau and rebuilding it into his main residence after having inherited it from his father.

Count Hanuš, in fact, maintained a close friendship with Božena Němcová and her entire family. He knew Karel, Božena Němcová’s husband, quite well. After Karel Němec left the state administration, where he had worked for many years, Count Hanuš offered him a job. Němec became his financial manager and was in charge of controlling the accounts. Count Hanuš kept in touch with many Czech writers, keeping up correspondences, and even financially supporting the work some. In addition to the already mentioned Božena Němcová, these included, for example, Karel Havlíček Borovský or Josef Kajetán Tyl. Count Hanuš had strong national feelings, so it is no wonder that he also had friendly relationships with the personalities behind the Czech national revival movement. This is evidenced by the preserved correspondence with František Palacký, Josef Jungmann and František Ladislav Rieger.

Along with his father, Count Hanuš was involved in the circle of patriotic-minded aristocrats surrounding Kašpar Šternberk. This practically placed him at the birth of the Patriotic Museum (now the National Museum), which he supported throughout his life. He even left the museum a part of his collections and the Chateau Breznice library containing many precious incunabula and illuminated manuscripts. Hanuš Count Krakowský-Nowohradský of Kolowrat was a respected authority of the Czech National Revival and a well-loved philanthropist. He helped to establish Czech amateur theaters and national associations, became the chief curator of the publishing house and enlightenment organization, Matice česká, supported the completion of the St. Vitus Cathedral, and construction of the National Theater.

Jan Nepomuk Karel (called Hanuš) Count Krakowský-Nowohradský of Kolowrat, Baron of Újezd (12 September 1794 – 26 June 1872)

Jan Nepomuk Karel Count Krakowský-Nowohradský of Kolowrat
Bust by Bohumil Schnirch, 1900, sculptural decoration of the grand staircase of the historic National Museum building