Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky

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Franz Anton Graf von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky
Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky.jpg
Count Franz Anton von Kolowrat
1st Minister-President of the Austrian Empire
In office
20 March 1848 – 4 April 1848
Monarch Ferdinand I
Preceded by Klemens von Metternich (as State Chancellor)
Succeeded by Karl Ludwig von Ficquelmont
Interior Minister of the Austrian Empire
In office
29 September 1826 – 20 March 1848
Monarch Francis I
Ferdinand I
Preceded by Károly Zichy
Succeeded by Franz von Pillersdorf
Personal details
Born (1778-01-31)31 January 1778
Prague, Bohemia
Died 4 April 1861(1861-04-04) (aged 83)
Vienna, Austria
Religion Roman Catholic Church

Count Franz Anton von Kolowrat-Liebsteinsky (Czech: František Antonín Kolovrat-Libštejnský; 31 January 1778 – 4 April 1861) was a Bohemian noble and Austrian statesman. As a moderate liberal politician, he was one of the major opponents of State Chancellor Prince Klemens von Metternich during the Vormärz era.


He was born in Prague, the son of the Czech Kolowrat (Kolovratové) noble family, whose ancestors had already served under the Luxembourg emperor Charles IV. Franz Anton finished his studies in 1799. During the Napoleonic Wars he achieved the office of a stadtholder of the Habsburg emperor Francis I of Austria at Prague and in 1810 became Oberstburggraf of the whole Bohemian kingdom. Contrary to Chancellor Metternich, he encouraged Czech cultural and civic-national movements, exemplified by the founding of the Prague National Museum in 1818.

Kolowrat's rivalry with Metternich intensified when in 1826 the emperor called him to Vienna, where he was elevated to a member of the Austrian State Council responsible for the Interior and Finances. The tensions between him and the chancellor continued: while Metternich favored a strong army, Kolowrat reduced the military budget.[1] After the accession of Francis' incapable son Ferdinand I to the throne in 1836, Kolowrat together with Metternich led the Secret State Conference, the de facto government of the Empire. However the continuous disagreement between the two leaders palsied the Austrian politics and ultimately contributed to the outbreak of the Revolutions of 1848. When Metternich had to resign, Kolowrat assumed the newly created office of an Austrian Minister-President, which he nevertheless laid down after only one month between 3–5 April, officially for health reasons.

Kolowrat died in Vienna.



  1. ^ Rothenburg, G. The Army of Francis Joseph. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 1976. p 10.
Preceded by
Klemens von Metternich
(State Chancellor)
Minister-President of the Austrian Empire
Succeeded by
Karl Ludwig von Ficquelmont
Preceded by
Károly Zichy
Minister of State of the Austrian Empire for the Interior
1826 – 1848
Succeeded by
Franz von Pillersdorf