Karl, Count Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin

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Count Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin
Karl Chotek (1783–1868) by Josef Kriehuber cropped.jpg
Count Karl, portrait by Josef Kriehuber, 1834
Full name
Born(1783-07-23)23 July 1783
Vienna, Habsburg Monarchy
Died18 December 1868(1868-12-18) (aged 85)
Vienna, Austria-Hungary
Noble familyChotek
Spouse(s)Countess Marie Berchtold, Baroness of Ungarschitz
FatherJohann Rudolf, Count Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin
MotherCountess Maria Sidonia of Clary and Aldringen

Karl, Count Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin (Czech: Karel hrabě Chotek z Chotkova a Vojnína, German: Karl Graf Chotek von Chotkow und Wognin); (23 July 1783 – 18 December 1868) was an Austrian chancellor, Government President (Gubernialpräsident) and school reformer of Bohemia and honorary citizen of Innsbruck and Prague.

Life and education[edit]

Karl was born at Vienna, Habsburg Monarchy, the sixth child and fifth son of Johann Rudolf, Count Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin (1748–1824) and Countess Maria Sidonia of Clary and Aldringen (1748–1824).

Karl Graf Chotek studied law in Vienna and Prague. In 1803 he joined the civil service. From 1809 he was senior administrative posts in Moravia and successfully reorganized the Trieste district office, which is why in 1815 after the defeat of Joachim Murat's he became governor-general in the Kingdom of Naples.

Governor of Tyrol and Vorarlberg[edit]

In 1818, he came a Privy Councillor and Vice President for Tyrol, where he was governor of Tyrol and Vorarlberg in 1819.

Together with the mayor of the city of Innsbruck, Felix Adam of Riccabona, in 1822 he initiated the founding of the "Sparkasse Innsbruck" (now Tiroler Sparkasse) as the second bank in Austria (after the First Austrian Savings Bank).

In memory of one of its founders, the Tiroler Sparkasse awards in the 2-year cycle the "Count Chotek University Award", awarded at a very good degree and master's theses.

As state governor, he founded in Innsbruck a committee to establish a "Patriotic Museum for Tyrol", which later became Tyrolean State Museum also known as the Ferdinandeum. As early as 1800, Archduke John had the idea of this epochal project - as a "collection of all provincial products, which should serve as a model for the rest of the hereditary states.", as a result of the Napoleonic Wars, but it was not established until 1823, a decade after the Universalmuseum Joanneum was opened in Styria.

Already the first statutes of the new institution had advanced content, "the progressive formation of the nation in general and in detail, especially the awakening and revival of interest, the products of nature, art and antiquity... " and the publication of a science-based journal. This purpose definition went beyond the romantic-historical notions of the Biedermeier period and far beyond, all conditions of the Tyrolean crown land collect, organize, and make them serve for the future.

Social policy went significant with the introduction of fire insurance, which under Emperor Joseph II had not caused it to prevail. Karl supported the efforts of Baron Josef of Giovanelli (1784–1845) to establish a nonprofit institute, which took place in February 1825. For this he was the first honorary citizen of Innsbruck in 1825.

Governor of Bohemia[edit]

The Supreme Burgrave of the Bohemia Kingdom authoritative wafer,1836

Karls merits of cultural policy in 1825 led him being called to Vienna as chancellor and president of Collegial Body for Academic Affairs. In October 1826 he was elected senior viscount and Imperial Government President of the Kingdom of Bohemia in Prague. He held this office until 1843 and gained recognition for the promotion of education, the road construction and the establishment of institutions to help and care poor people.

In Prague, Karl learned historian and politician from František Palacký,which he had a close friendship until his death. Palacký taught Karl, Czech language with which he mastered so far.

Count Karl worked energetically and purposefully in Prague Castle as Colonel Count. He sat on the improvement of infrastructure, especially in the construction of good roads and bridges. He also advocated for the first horsecar in Prague and the steamboat trip on Elbe river, and for the expansion of Prague's sewage system and street lighting. He supported the development of industry, education and the arts. In 1827 he wrote an important decree, which the export of art historically valuable objects needed the approval of the provincial administration.

One of the most popular destinations for walkers - the popular garden between the rear part of Prague Castle and Malá Strana - in 1840 was named after Viscount Chotek.

In 1842, in Prague, Karl was appointed as honorary citizen for his services. Through intrigue and sometimes criticism of his expensive projects, he was later forced to resign. At the end of July 1843 he was relieved at his request, his body and his life was on Březno Castle in northern Bohemia. He died on 28 December 1868 in Vienna, but was buried in Waltire at Litoměřice.

In 1836, he was awarded with the Order of the Golden Fleece.

Marriage and family[edit]

Karl married on 9 June 1817 in Vienna to Countess Marie Berchtold, Baroness of Ungarschitz (1794–1878), elder daughter of Count Anton Berchtold, and his wife, Marie Anna Franziska Huszár de Szent-Baráth.

They had two sons:

  • Count Anton Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin (27 March 1822 – 1 June 1883), married in 1851 to Olga von Moltke; had issue.
  • Bohuslav, Count Chotek of Chotkow and Wognin (3 July 1829 – 11 October 1896), married in 1859 to Countess Wilhelmine Kinsky of Wchinitz and Tettau; had issue.


Notes and sources[edit]

  • Genealogics - Leo van de Pas - Karl, Graf Chotek von Chotkowa und Wognin
  • Genealogisches Handbuch des Adels, Fürstliche Häuser, Reference: 1980 480
  • Chotek Karl Graf . In: Austrian Biographical Dictionary 1815-1950 (ABL). Volume 1, published by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna 1957, p. 146
  • Wolf: Chotek . In: General German Biography (ADB). Volume 4, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1876, p. 138 (Familienartikel) (Family products)
  • Frederick Walter Chotek, Carl . In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 3, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1957, p. 214 f.
  • Adam Wolf : Karl Graf Chotek, Graz / Prague 1869
  • Josef Bedr: Hrabata Chotkové z Chotkova a Vojnína, Kutná Hora 1886
  • Baron Roman Prochazka : Genealogical Handbook extinct Mr. Bohemian-class families, page 59, Verlag Degener & Co, Neustadt (Aisch) 1973
  • Chotek of Chotkowna and Wognin, Count Karl, into at Constant von Wurzbach, Biographical Encyclopedia of the Empire of Austria, second Band 1857. Band 1857th