House of Frankopan

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House of Frankopan
Coat of arms of Fran Krsto Frankopan
Country Croatia, Hungary
Titles Counts of Krk, Modruš, and Trsat[1]
Founded 1118

The House of Frankopan (Frankapan; Hungarian: Frangepán, Italian: Franipani) is a Croatian noble family, whose members were among the great landowner magnates and high officers of the Kingdom of Hungary–Croatia.


The Frankopan family was a leading Croatian aristocratic family which dates back to the 12th century, and possibly even earlier to Roman times.[2] Along with the Zrinski family it had, in Croatian and Hungarian history, ranked high in terms of importance by virtue of power, wealth, fame, glory and role in Croatia's public life. The are considered to be closely connected with the Roman patrician Frangipani family.[2] The Frangipani were a Roman princely family, earlier called Onicii or Anicii. The family took the name Frangipani in the 8th century.[3] In 837 four brothers of the Frangipani family left Rome: Michele chose Venice as his domicile and Nicolò Dalmatia and Slavonia. The descendants of Michele obtained the island of Krk from the Venetians.[3] The Croatian family proclaimed themselves "Frankopan" in 1430, and are first mentioned in Croatian documents in 1133 when Dujam of Krk is recorded as ruler and lord of the island of Krk and of areas of Dalmatia. Around 1200 the family owned wide areas on the mainland, including the Castle of Ribnik, near Karlovac.

The older family coat of arms, before they changed their name to "Frankopan" in 1430, and adopted Venice influenced coat of arms.

In 1240–1241 the Mongol Empire advanced from Poland toward Hungary whose King, Béla IV resisted bravely but finally had to seek refuge in Dalmatia. King Béla stayed with the Frankopans who assisted him with arms and funds and brought him into safety in Veglia and then brought him back to his own land. As reward the King gave the Frangipani the county of Senj with surrounding lands and the castle of Modruš.[3]

In 1246 there was another war, between Frederick II, Duke of Austria and Béla, who, with the assistance of the Frankopans, won a victory. As a further reward, King Béla then, by royal decree, created the Frankopans as Lords of their territory for them and their descendants.[3]

The Frankopans constantly supported the Catholic Church. In particular, Nikola Frankopan reconstructed the Holy House of Our Lady in 1294 in Tersatto (Trsat).[3] It is recorded that in 1291, Nikola Frankopan sent a delegation to Nazareth to measure the Holy House after the House had been saved, presumably by the Crusaders, and brought to Trsat or Tersatto, on the Adriatic Coast where the Frankopans had a castle. In 1294 Nikola Frankopan, gave the Holy House to the Pope to be placed on Papal lands, at Loreto, near Ancona.

Although the possessions of the family were exposed to every assault both from the east and the west, their power increased steadily until the 17th century when their lands reached further east. The Zrinski and Frankopan families came into closer affinity by marriage ties until in the eyes of the European courts they had become one of the most important families of Croatia.

In 1420 the Swedish King Erik of Pomerania called Ivan VI Frankopan, the eldest son of the Croatian ban Nikola IV, to Sweden to accompany the Swedish King to the Holy Land and later to assist the King at the Court in Sweden. Ivan VI Frankopan lived in Sweden at intervals between 1420 and 1430. After his father's death he returned to his home country. His eldest son called Matthias (Matija)[4] stayed in Sweden.

In 1425 Emperor Sigismund confirmed the princely title of Nicolaus Frankopan and his relatives and granted the family the privileges of red wax, (Rotwachsprivilegien), i.e., the right to use red wax for their seals, a privilege reserved for sovereign families. Sigismund underlines at the end of this document that no one must ever dispute these rights of the family.[5]

Bernardin Frankopan's (1453-1529) paternal grandmother Dorottya Garai was from a prominent Hungarian noble family, Garay, while his mother Isotta from Este family was Duchy of Ferrara of Ferrara. Through ancestry from royal Spanish families Bernardin had even Árpád ancestry (the Árpád dynasty founded the Kingdom of Hungary.) The Frankopan family was persecuted after the Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy, where the Prince and Marquess Fran Krsto Frankopan participated in an uprising against Habsburg King Leopold I. He and his brother-in-law, Petar Zrinski were executed in Wiener Neustadt.

The line of Stjepan II Frankopan, Ban of Croatia (d. 1481), died out with Katarina Frankopan in the 16th century. The line of Sigismund Frankopan expired with Franjo Frankopan, Bishop of Eger in 1542. The another branch died out in 1572 with Franjo Frankopan, Ban of Croatia; and the Trsat branch died out with Fran Krsto Frankopan in 1671 (and in the female line with Julianna Frankopan, Countess of Traun).[1]

Notable members[edit]

Grave of Nikola Frankopan (*c.1352 - †1432), in Trsat.

Frankopan family in the United Kingdom[edit]

Peter Frankopan, a Senior Fellow of Worcester College at Oxford University and Director of the University's Centre for Byzantine Studies, claims that his family, Doimi de Lupis, split from other branches of the Frankopan family in the 14th century. From Doimo III Frangipani or Frankopan, (+ 1348), Count of Veglia, married Elisabetta Subich, daughter of Jakab Subich, Count of Bribir (+ post 1347); see [6][7][self-published source][better source needed][8] This claim is publicly disputed in Croatia.[9][10]

Louis Frankopan and his wife are members of the Croatian and Italian nobility.[11] In 1991 Louis Doimi de Lupis Frankopan and his wife Ingrid were appointed official spokespersons for the Croatian Government.[12][unreliable source?] Louis Frankopan was a founding member the Croatian Nobility Association,[10] a private non-governmental organisation founded immediately after the end of the Croatian War of Independence in 1995, but was ejected from membership when others disputed his claim to the Frankopan name, and was later the subject of ridicule by Croatian geneaologists.[9] Croatian archaeologist Ivan Mirnik publicly spoke out against Ingrid Detter on several occasions,[10] and in 2002, Louis Doimi de Lupis was registered by the Croatian Nobility Association only under the name Doimi de Lupis, based on a 17th-century certification of nobility of the 13th-century Trogir family known as Dujmi.[10]

In 2002, the Ribnik Castle was bought by members of the present-day Frankopan family after the municipality of Ribnik sold it to them on a public tender for a total sum of 1,650,000 kuna.[10]

In 2006 The Times published an article suggesting that the family had added Frankopan to their surname under British civil law but later published a retraction and a clarification. The Times corrected the article, stating:

"Since 2006 a judgment of the Italian courts has confirmed the genealogical entitlement and the right of all members of the Frankopan family to make use of the titles Princes Frankopan Frangipane Subić and Counts Doimi de Lupis, even if, for political reasons, they did not always use them. The Frankopan family did not change its name under UK law as stated above."[8][broken citation]

The judgment has executory force in all jurisdictions in Europe and elsewhere and is recognised by the Croatian Government.[citation needed]

Louis Frankopan's wife, Ingrid Detter de Frankopan, is a professor of law.[13][14][better source needed] Their daughter Paola, is married to Lord Nicholas Windsor and has written for The Tatler and one article about her wedding in Vogue USA.[15][16] Their eldest son Peter is a historian and author.[17][18][19][20]

He says that the "title (of the family) is not any claim on anything. It is just a reflection of the age of the family".[8] He maintains that his family split from other branches of the Frankopan family in the 14th century. Together with his wife, he founded Cambridge University's Frankopan Directorship for Gender Studies.[21]


Several of the Frankopan castles remain in Croatia, mostly around the Gorski kotar region and the island of Krk. The castle at Stara Susica near Trsat incorporates structures going back to the Illyrian and Roman periods. The town of Bosiljevo has a medieval fortified castle, renovated in the last century in the spirit of the Romanesque. The castle and park at Severin na Kupi were owned by the Frankopan family until the mid-17th century. Other castles or property of the Frankopans could be found in Ribnik, Bosiljevo, Novi Vinodolski, Drivenik, Ogulin, Slunj, Ozalj, Cetingrad, Trsat, and other surrounding towns. The Frankopan castle in the town of Krk is currently used for open-air performances in the summer months. Some castles which were propriety of the family:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nagy, Iván; Friebeisz, István (1858). Magyarország családai: Czimerekkel és nemzékrendi táblákkal. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  2. ^ a b [Gliubich, Simeone, Dizionario biografico degli uomini illustri della Dalmazia, Vienna, 1856, p. 135.]
  3. ^ a b c d e [Gliubich, Simeone, Dizionario biografico degli uomini illustri della Dalmazia, Vienna, 1856, p. 136.]
  4. ^ Petar Strčić (2002). "Vončinin genealoški, onomasiološki i kronološki pristup Franji Krsti Frankopanu". Kolo (in Croatian) (Matica hrvatska) (2). ISSN 1331-0992. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  5. ^ Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Vienna, Reichsadelsakt Fragiapan, 1425, Dokument 120.6 & 119.16
  6. ^ "Frangepan - Frankopan". Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  7. ^ Marek, Miroslav (2009-01-30). "Frangepan 1". Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  8. ^ a b c David Brown, Alexia Skinitis and Ivo Scepanovic (30 September 2006). "Royal match that really is a fairytale [CORRECTED]". The Times. Retrieved 2011-10-24. 
  9. ^ a b Jelena Valentić (2012-03-18). "Tajni svijet dinastije Frankopan: Dramatična istina o misterioznom međunarodnom imperiju". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2012-12-09. "Bilo kakvu vezu s prezimenom koje si je pripisao promptno je osporio Hrvatski plemićki zbor, asocijacija koja okuplja domaće plemenitaše. Izbacili su ga iz članstva, a ismijavali su ga i najugledniji hrvatski genealozi, nazivajući njegov pokušaj falsifikacije prezimena bijednim." 
  10. ^ a b c d e Željka Godeč (2002-09-25). "Lažno hrvatsko plemstvo - Hrvatska misija lažnih Frankopana". Nacional (weekly) (in Croatian) (358). Retrieved 2012-12-09. "Ivan Mirnik, koji je u više navrata javnost upozoravao da “princeza Frankopan-Šubić-Zrinski zabavlja i nasmijava sve ljude s malo više povijesnog obrazovanja”, još je jednom u Vjesniku podsjetio da je posrijedi svojatanje Frankopana i cinično izrugivanje povijesti. Premda se iz krugova bliskih Hrvatskom plemićkom zboru može čuti kako njihovi članovi smatraju da reinkarnacija Frankopana narušava i njihov ugled, dosad se od njih nisu javno ogradili. Louis Doimi de Lupis 1995. bio je jedan od osnivača HPZ-a, što ga je inicirala grupa od 17 potomaka plemića posvećenih štovanju tradicije i Hrvatske, njezine povijesti i kulture. No Nacionalovu novinarku Branko Cindro dočekao je s diplomatskim objašnjenjem: “HPZ nema članova pod imenom Frankopana, niti je itko ikada tražio da mu se odobri plemićka titula kao nasljedniku Frankopana. Naš je član Louis Doimi de Lupis, on je priložio dokumente o plemićkom podrijetlu koje je komisija verificirala. Članom HPZ-a može postati onaj tko nosi prezime obitelji koja je plemenita i dokaže po muškoj liniji neprekinutost te obitelji. U slučaju Louisa Doimija de Lupisa nema nikakve dvojbe. Zbornik plemstva svjedoči o plemićkim korijenima de Lupisa, koji se prvi put spominju u 13. stoljeću u Trogiru pod imenom Dujmi. U zborniku je opisan i izgled njihova plemićkog grba.” Toj obitelji, svjedoči i Mirnik, bečki dvor potvrdio je viteški stalež, najniži plemićki rang, ali i to tek 1855. i 1865. No Branko Cindro ne poriče da je njegov pokojni otac Nikola Cindro, ugledni znanstvenik, prije pet godina razgovarao s de Lupisom i zatražio ga da zbog slučaja Frankopan svoje članstvo stavi u mirovanje. Tako su članovi HPZ-a problem lažnog plemstva stavili ad acta." 
  11. ^ La Casata dei Lupi - I Rami Vitali". Retrieved 2011-10-24.
  12. ^ Appointment by Foreign Minister Dr Frane Vinko Golem, February, 1991
  13. ^ "Biography of Ingrid Detter de Frankopan « RJ GAUDET & ASSOCIATES L.L.C". 2012-02-02. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  14. ^ "Ingrid Detter de Frankopan - United Kingdom | LinkedIn". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  15. ^ "Homerenaissancefoundation". Homerenaissancefoundation. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  16. ^ "My Royal Wedding: Paola de Frankopan Remembers Her Own Marriage into the British Royal Family". Vogue News. 
  17. ^ "The First Crusade: The Call from the East: Peter Frankopan: Books". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  19. ^ "Governors - Wellington College Website". 2010-05-12. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  20. ^ "Staff and Trustees | About | WMF Britain". Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  21. ^ "University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies » Frankopan Donation". 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 

External links[edit]

  • The family site La Casata dei Lupi, (Italian language), contains photos of Lord and Lady Nicholas, their first son Albert, and members of the Lupis family. Retrieved 26 September 2009. As of 26 September 2009, this was the only source online that had the name of the second son as Leopold Ernest Augustus Guelph Windsor. This name has been confirmed 1 November by an official announcement sent to family members: "Paola and Nicholas announce with joy the birth of their second son Leopold a brother to Albert born on the 8th of September 2009 8lb 2oz".
  • Doimi de Lupis genealogy (Italian language) hosted by Società Genealogica Italiana - SGI. Retrieved 26 September 2009. The page calls Lady Nicholas Windsor "S.A.R. Lady Paola Luisa Marica Doimi de Lupis de Frankopan Subich", and her sons "S.A.R. Lord Albert (Bertie) Louis Philip Edward Windsor" and "S.A.R. Lord Leopold Ernest Augustus Guelph Windsor", reflecting Italian protocol and customs according to the "Cerimoniale della Presidenza della Repubblica Italiana", which states that all the members of sovereign and reigning families that visit Italy are addressed as "Le Loro Altezze Reali", (LLAARR) (TRH) or "Sua Altezza Reale" "SAR" (HRH) etc. (see the official site of "Ministero degli affari Esteri - Cerimoniale diplomatico").