House of Rosenberg

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Coat of arms
Vítkovci, Lords of Rose, wallpainting of Mikoláš Aleš. Rožmberk with red rose is in middle

The Rosenberg family (Rožmberkové in Czech, sg. z Rožmberka) was a significant and influential Bohemian noble family, playing an important role in Czech medieval history from the 13th century until 1611. Members of this family held posts at the Prague royal (and later imperial) court and were viewed as very powerful lords of the Kingdom of Bohemia. This branch of the Vítkovci clan was initially founded by Vítek III, the son of Vítek (German "Witiko") of Prčice.

In about 1250, the Vítkovci clan settled at the Rožmberk Castle in the region of Český Krumlov, then in about 1253 erected the Český Krumlov castle. The Krumlov castle thus became the residence of the Lords of Rožmberk for the next three hundred years. It was the Rožmberks who influenced the appearance of southern Bohemia to a great extent.

The coat of arms and emblem of this family was represented by a red five-petalled rose in a silver field, which is still often seen in a considerable part of southern Bohemia.

Peter I of Rožmberk held the post of the superior chamberlain at the court of John of Bohemia. His wife was a widow of the Bohemian king Wenceslaus III.

Another significant personage of the family was Jindřich III of Rožmberk, a son of Oldřich I, who led the Union of Nobility, being displeased during the reign of King Wenceslaus IV.

Jindřich's son, Oldřich II of Rožmberk, was a member of the Bohemian nobility who defended the interests of Bohemian catholic nobility and of Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, during the times of the Hussite wars.

A daughter of Oldřich II was Perchta of Rožmberk, who is identified with the Rožmberks "White Lady" ghost tales, and current residents of the area still report seeing Perchta's spirit around the castle.

The decline of the House of Rožmberk began with Vilém and Petr Vok, the sons of Jošt III, both being raised under the guardianship of their uncle, Peter V.

Vilém of Rožmberk is generally considered the most significant representative of the family, making the Český Krumlov area the center of southern Bohemian cultural and political life.

After Vilém's death in 1592, his younger brother, Petr Vok, assumed the position of reigning lord. In 1601, he was forced to sell the Krumlov castle to Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor. Petr Vok transferred his residence after the sale to Třeboň, where he died in 1611. Petr Vok brought to a close the three-hundred-year-long reign of this illustrious dynasty.

References[edit]

  • VESELÁ, Lenka. Knihy na dvoře Rožmberků. Praha : Knihovna Akademie věd ČR : Scriptorium, 2005. 359 s. ISBN 80-86675-06-8 (KNAV). ISBN 80-86197-60-3 (Scriptorium).
  • Václav Březan: Životy posledních Rozmberků. (aus dem Manuskript hrsg. v. Jaroslav Pánek). Praha 1985.
  • Jaroslav Pánek: Poslední Rožmberkové. Velmoži české renesance. Praha 1989.

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