Thurn und Taxis (Bohemia)

Lautschin Castle Lautschin Castle Lautschin Castle

The House of Thurn und Taxis in Bohemia: 140 years of family history

The Czech branch of the House of Thurn und Taxis was founded in 1808 by Maximilian Joseph von Thurn und Taxis (Regensburg 29 May 1769-Prague 15 May 1831), who was the youngest child of Alexander Ferdinand von Thurn und Taxis (Frankfurt-am-Main 21 Mar 1704-Regensburg 17 Mar 1773) and his third wife Maria Henriette von Fürstenberg (Prague 31 Mar 1732-Regensburg 4 Jun 1772). In 1791, Maximilian married Duchess Eleonore von Lobkowicz (Prague 22 Apr 1770-Lautschin 9 Nov 1834), from an old Czech noble family whose origin can be traced back to Mares Martin z Ujezda (1376-90).[1] In 1808, he inherited Lautschin (Loucen in Czech) and Dobrovice castles from his cousin Maria Josefa von Fürstenberg, and in 1820 permanently settled in Bohemia.[2] Besides Lautschin and other rural estate, the family also owned real estate in Prague that included two palaces: one in the city's uptown (V jame 635-636) and one in the old town (Vrtbovsky Palace in Mala Strana, purchased in 1814).[3]
Maximilian and Eleonore had six sons: Karl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis (1792–1844), the firstborn (not to be confused with his uncle Prince Karl Anselm of Regensburg, heir to the House of Thurn und Taxis wealth),[4] August Maria Maximilian von Thurn und Taxis (1794-1862), Joseph von Thurn und Taxis (1796-1857), Karl Theodor von Thurn und Taxis (1797-1868), Friedrich Hannibal Thurn und Taxis (1799-1857) and Wilhelm Karl von Thurn und Taxis (1801-1848).

In 1815 Karl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis (Prague 18 June 1792-Teplitz 25 Aug 1844) married Marie Isabelle, Gfn u. Edle Hrn von und zu Eltz Faust von Stromberg (Dresden 10 Feb 1795-Prague 12 March 1859). They had 6 children: Marie Sophie (1816-1897)(Countess von Montfort), Hugo Maxmillian (1817-1889), heir to the family estate, Maria Eleonora (1818-1898), Emerich (1820-1900), General and Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece, Marie Theresa (1824-1889) (Countess von Belcredi), and Rudolf (1833-1904), who became Baron von Troskow.[5]

Rudolf von Troskow (Prague 25 Nov 1833-Velehrad 4 Jul 1904) married in 1857 Jenny Ständler (Prague 9 Apr 1830-Graz 28 Sep 1914). Rudolf was an intellectual who loved Czech music and literature, and was an avid patron of the arts. He studied law and in 1861 founded "Pravnik," the first Czech language law journal. Aided by Karel Jaromir Erben, he also contributed vocabulary to Czech legal terminology. He was sincerely devoted to the Czech national cause and was one of its important players: he was the publisher of "Boleslavan," a Czech language weekly dedicated to the cause, and became the first chairman of the famous Czech choir "Hlahol." He was also a member of the Committee for the Establishment of the Czech National Theatre (1861) and one of the founders of the Czech arts society "Umelecka beseda" in Prague (1863). He supported Czech writers Bozena Nemcova, Vitezslav Halek, and Karolina Svetla, and promoted Czech composers Antonin Dvorak and Bedrich Smetana. The latter composed his opera "Branibori v Cechach" at Rudolf's estate in Nimerice. In 1894 Rudolf gave up his family name and adopted the title of "Freiherr von Troskow," granted to him at his request by the Emperor Franz Joseph I. Ten years later he died while visiting his daughter Hedvika in Velehrad. In 1930, his and his wife's remains were exhumed and reinterred in the family grave in Stara Boleslav.[6]

Hugo Maximilian von Thurn und Taxis (Prague 3 July 1817-Lautschin 28 Nov 1889) married Almeria Gfn von Belcredi (Ingrowitz 8 Oct 1819-Lautschin 25 Sep 1914). Hugo's estate included castles in Dobrovice, Lautschin (Loucen in Czech) and Mzells (Mcely, since 1869), and estates in Vlkava, Nimerice and Ceten. Hugo had 4 legitimate children: Karoline (1846-1931), Egmont (1849-1866), Alexander (1851-1939) - his heir, and Maria Theresia (1856-1908).[7]

Alexander and Marie von Thurn und Taxis

Alexander von Thurn und Taxis Alexander Johann Vincenz Rudolf Hugo Karl Lamoral Eligius von Thurn und Taxis (Lautschin 1 Dec 1851-Lautschin 21 July 1939) married in 1875 Marie zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg Schillingsfürst (Venice 28 Dec 1855-Lautschin 16 Feb 1934). They inherited Lautschin in 1889.[8] Both Alexander and Marie were avid patrons of the arts (Alexander himself played violin and Marie was an amateur painter), and although they were not wealthy by the standards of their Regensburg relatives, they were generous and never hesitated to support a good cause. Marie's protégé Rainer Maria Rilke used to visit the family at their castles Lautschin and Duino. He dedicated his Duino Elegies to the princess who in turn wrote about him in her published memoirs. Besides Rilke, regular guests at the castle in Lautschin included Karel Sladkovsky and Bedrich Smetana who in 1880 dedicated his composition "Z domoviny," for violin and piano, to Alexander.[9] After Smetana's death, Alexander designated the house in nearby Jabkenice, where Smetana lived his last years, as Smetana's museum and donated land for his memorial. Other artists known to visit the castle included F. X. Salda, Eliska Krasnohorska, Karel Bendl, members of the Czech Quartet (who included composer Josef Suk), and Mark Twain (who visited the castle during his European travels in 1899). Alexander also loved to travel and he was a passionate hunter who made several hunting trips to Africa, occasionally accompanied by Czech traveller Bedrich Machulka; he later donated his animal trophies to the National Museum in Prague. Lautschin Team He belonged to Knights of Malta and financially assisted a number of charitative causes. Together with his father Hugo he was also instrumental in building the first railway in the Region. The railway was built on his land that he graciously donated for the project.[10] When his son Erich, who studied in Cambridge, brought to Lautschin a new game known as football, he helped him establish the first football team in Bohemia (1889). The team made history when it played in the first official football match historically recorded in Bohemia (1893). The Lautschin team competed against Regatta, the best team in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The match took place at the famous Cisarska louka in Prague on 18.4.1893 and ended with the Thurn Taxis team losing 0:5. This was still considered a great success for the Lautschin players and the Vienna newspapers Wiener Sportzeitung did not hesitate to conclude that the team from Lautschin was the second best team after Regatta in the Empire.[11]
The family's burial place is in Sycin (Seitzin) near Dobrovice.[12]

Alexander had 3 legitimate children: Erich Lamoral (Mzells 11 Jan 1876-Kremsegg 20 Oct 1952), Eugen (Prague 27 Mar 1878-Prague 4 Mar 1903), and Alexander Karl (Mzells 8 Jul 1881-Duino 11 Mar 1937). Erich married Countess Marie Gabriele Kinsky (eldest daughter of Rudolf, 9th Prince Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau) in 1903 and in 1925 moved to Austria where he died in 1952. He had nine children: Marie Therese (1904-1972), Eleonore (1904-1988), Alexander Ferdinand (1906-1992), Jan Nepomuk Emmerich (1908-1959), Therese Elisabeth (1911-1994), Rudolph Ferdinand (1913-1986), Franz Joseph (1915-1997), Josepha (1917-1990) and Vilhelm Alexander (1919-1990). His heir Alexander Ferdinand (1906-1992) held the Lautschin Castle until the end of the war in 1945 when it was confiscated by the Czechoslovak State (his cousin, Ludwig [Luigi della Torre e Tasso], held the Mzells Castle until 1948). Erich's brother Alexander moved to Italy in 1923, having divorced his first wife, Princess Marie de Ligne in 1919, and leaving the dynastic House of Thurn und Taxis to become the first Duca di Castel Duino (Duke of Castle Duino) by grant of Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. His sons Raimundo Alexander (1907-1986) and Ludwig Almerich (1908-1985) emigrated with their father and were recognized in Italy as Princes della Torre e Tasso, although Alexander's daughter Princess Margarita (1909-?) remained a member of the Thurn und Taxis family until her marriage in 1931 to Prince Gaetano of Bourbon-Parma. After Alexander's death, the castle in Duino was inherited by his son Raimundo (1907–1986), 2nd Duke of Castle Duino, and has remained a part of Torre e Tasso family's estate ever since.[13] Descendants of the House of Thurn und Taxis in Bohemia, a family that had played an important part in the Czech national culture and the local history for 140 years, are today dispersed around the world.

[1] Marecek 1998, 80-81, also Marek
[2] Marecek 1998, 80
[3] Drocar
[4] Marecek 1998, 80
[5] Marecek 1998, 81-82, also Marek
[6] Zapletal and Drocar
[7] Marecek 1998, 89 and Marek
[8] Marecek 1998, 89 and Marek
[9] Pospisil, 2004
[10] Marecek 1998, 93-95 and Paine
[11] Marecek (unpublished text), Novacek (internet, no longer available), Z tajnosti fotbaloveho praveku
[12] Marecek 1998, 123
[13] Marecek 1998, 97, 100-104, and Marek

Lautschin Castle (Loucen), Czech Republic
Alexander von Thurn und Taxis. Source: Karel Dragoun Family archive.
Lautschin Team: (first row standing) Zahradka, (Karel) Dragoun, Koch, Vodhanil, Moucha; (middle row sitting); Mill, Hodgson, Beckett; (front row) Houzvicka, Prince Erich, Patocka. Source: Karel Dragoun Family archive.

Dragounova, Marie. Kronika rodu Dragounu, loucenskych postmistru (Chronicle of the Dragoun Family, Postmasters at Loucen). Unpublished text (1922). Deposited in State Archives, Nymburk.
Drocar, Jan. Zapomenuty slechtic. Pozitivni noviny, June 25, 2007.
FK Loucen: Nejstarsi fotbalovy klub v Cechach (1893). Program guide. Published in 2003 at the occasion of the 110th anniversary of the Loucen Football Club.
Marecek, Zdenek. Loucen a Thurn Taxisove: Pohledy do doby minule i nedavne. Loucen, Czech Republic: Obec Loucen, 1998.
Marecek, Zdenek. 2003. Vypraveni o tom jak fotbal na Loucen prisel. Unpublished text.
Marek, Miroslav. Thurn und Taxis, (March 1, 2008),
Novacek, Jiri. Cechy naucili hrat fotbal anglicky komornik se zahradnikem. Unpublished text (2003).
Paine, Albert Bigelow. Mark Twain. eBooks@Adelaide. (March 31, 2008),
Pospisil, Milan. 2004. Preface to Smetana's "Z domoviny." Munchen: G. Henle Verlag. (June 29, 2008)
Thurn-Taxis, Marie. Rainer Maria Rilke v mych vzpominkach. Praha: Nadace Arbor vitae, 1997.
Votypka, Vladimir. Paradoxy ceske slechty. Praha: Nakladatelstvi Dokoran, 2005.
"Z tajnosti fotbaloveho praveku". Stadion 32, August 9, 1988.
Zapletal, Vladimir. JUDr. Rudolf Knize Thurn-Taxis. (2nd ed.) Pozitivni noviny, 26 June 2007.
The Thurn und Taxis Family Archives in the Czech Republic
Nazev fondu (sbirky): Rodinny archiv Thurn-Taxisu, Loucen
Ulozeno v archivu: Statni oblastni archiv v Praze
Mista vzniku fondu: Dobrovice; Loucen
Casovy rozsah: 1553-1945
Metraz: 6,88 bm (vse je zpracovano a inventarizovano)
Fond je castecne pristupny v souladu se znenim archivniho zakona a dalsich pravnich predpisu
Puvodce fondu (sbirky): Clenove rodiny Thurn - Taxis, Loucen
Tematicky popis: Rodinne pisemnosti, diplomy, fotografie apod.
Archivni pomucky: BENES F.-INDRA B.: RODINNY ARCHIV THURN - TAXISU, LOUCEN, 1553 - 1945. Inventar, 1959, s. 9, ev.c. 108.

Nazev fondu (sbirky): Rodinny archiv Thurn Taxisu, Loucen
Ulozeno v archivu: Statni okresni archiv Nymburk se sidlem v Lyse nad Labem
Mista vzniku fondu: Loucen
Casovy rozsah: 1926-1942
Metraz: 0,11 bm (z toho nic neni zpracovano)
Fond neni pristupny v souladu se znenim archivniho zakona a dalsich pravnich predpisu
Puvodce fondu (sbirky): Rodina Thurn Taxisu, Loucen
Tematicky popis: - osobni korespondence - text prednasky Alexandra Thurn Taxise o cestach do Afriky
Archivni pomucky: nejsou
Internet links

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