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12. století

The Schwarzenberg family

Originally a Frankish aristocratic family
Info text

The Schwarzenbergs is a famous aristocratic family that is one of the wealthiest in Europe. The first records of the dynasty are from 1172 when they were known under the name Seinsheim. In the 14th century, the estate of Schwarzenberg was purchased and the erstwhile head of the family named Erkinger accompanied the Emperor Sigismund during his crusade into Bohemia against the Hussites. Erkinger lent important funds and received some royal towns in return. In the 15th century, the Schwarzenbergs were made Free Noblemen. In 1599, Adolf of Schwarzenberg was made Count as a reward for the victory over the Turks and the Schwarzenberg Coat-of-Arms received the head of a Turk out of which a raven is pecking out an eye.
During the 17th century, the Schwarzenbergs acquired more property in Bohemia

in the Třeboň Region, including the Hluboká Manor. The Schwarzenberg Counts then became Imperial Counts.
The possessions of the Schwarzenberg in Bohemia were, before World War I, extensive, they were among the wealthiest in Europe. In Bohemia, the family owned more than 170,000 hectares of land. After the 1922 Land Reform the Schwarzenbergs lost one third of their land and then further problems started during the time of the Bohemia and Moravia Protectorate when their properties were confiscated. Between 1947 and 1949 the Schwarzenberg lost the rest of their possessions in Bohemia and Count Karel the Fourth Schwarzenberg was forced to leave the country. The current head member of the dynasty in both branches is Karel Schwarzenberg, who was Czech Foreign Secretary from 2007 to 2009.


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