Complimentary Issue

The Margrave of Moravia

By Jiri Malik, Prague
At the beginning of the 9th century the Great Moravian Empire arose on the territory of today's Moravia and western Slovakia. A hundred years later it was disrupted by Hungarian raids. By the 10th century Moravia was joined to the Czech Kingdom of the Premyslids as an appendage.

Rise of the Margravate
How Moravia became a Margravate of the German Empire is unknown. Likely it was instigated by the Moravian princes to escape allegiance to the Czech kings. In 1182 the German Emperor Fridrich I Barbarossa proclaimed Moravia the Margravate and an imperial feudal territory. This conferred a higher status, Margravates had a direct line to the king/emperor.

Premyslid Margraves It wasn't until 1186 that the Czech king Premysl Otakar I managed to abolish the direct feudal dependence of Moravia on the German Empire and restored the integrity of the Premyslid state. He preserved the status of the Margravate for Moravia. Vladislav Jindrich (Henry), the Czech King's younger brother, became the first real hereditary Margrave in Moravia. The German Emperor Fridrich II confirmed this in 1212.

Moravian Eagle
Highlights of Moravian History

  • Seventh century: Moravian warrior societies from northern Persia settle in the Danube River basin
  • Ninth century: Great Moravia emerges
  • 822: First recorded mention of Moravians whose emissaries visited Emperor Louis the Pious in Frankfurt
  • 863: Cyril and Methodius bring Christianity to Moravia, introducing the Slavic liturgy
  • 10th century: Hungarian tribes break up Moravian power
  • llth century: Moravia is included in the Polish Empire under King Boleslav the Bold
  • 1025 Premysl princes annex Moravia
  • 12th century: The Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa establishes the Margravate of Moravia
  • 1642: Brno becomes Moravia's capital city
  • 1918: Under the Republic of Czechoslovakia, Moravia is made a constituional nation along with Bohemia and Silesia
  • 1927; Moravia merges with Silesia to form a self-administered unit with Czechoslovakia
  • 1938-45: German occupation
  • 1949: Communism centralizes political power in Prague
  • 1960: Moravia is divided into northern and southern regions and its historical border with Bohemia is redrawn
Margravate of Moravia when his father died in 1293, and he also gained the Czech crown. He kept the title of Margrave ruling Moravia through his vice-regent. The independent political importance of Moravia faded and it was integrated into the Czech state.

Premysl Otaknr II was one of the outstanding Czech kings and he governed a large territory but was defeated in 1278 in the historic battle at Moravske Pole (Marchfeld) and was killed by his enemies. The German Emperor Rudolph Habsbursky I took control of Moravia. From 1285 to 1305 Vaclav II son of the later Premysl Otakar II, ruled Moravia. The reign of his successor and son Vaclav III lasted just one year. The young king was assassinated in Olomouc in 1306; the House of Premysl died with him.

Moravia Under the Luxembergs
The heritage of the Premyslids, the Czech kingdom and the Margravate of Moravia - caused many conflicts. By 1311 Jan Lucembursky who married Eliska (Bettine) Premyslovec, the youngest daughter of Vaclav II, was crowned Czech king. When ho came to Moravia, people welcomed him warmly, believing that the time of wars and struggle was over. The king confirmed that the same privileges be accorded both the Moravian and Czech nobles and he did not use the title of Margrave.

The importance of the Margravate within the framework of the Premyslid medieval state was considerable. Moravia had its own institutions, laws and state symbol. Vladislav Jindrich was also a great supporter of the Catholic Chuch and gave the Cistercian Order a large sum to build the famous cloister at Vefehrad. He died in 1212 without descendants and the Czech king took up the reign in Moravia. From 1224 to 1227 the Czech king's second son ruled Moravia and after his death the youngest son of Premysl Otakar I became the Margrave of Moravia. He died in 1239 as the Tatars appeared on the horizon. Their invasion of Moravia was devastating.

After the death of Prcsmysl Otakar, his eldest son Vaclav I (Wenceslaus) succeeded to the throne. Vaclav's son Premysl Otakar II gained the
Only his eldest son Karel (Charles) began to use the title Margrave of Moravia. His brother Jan Jindrich (John Henry) was his successor in Moravia when Karel became the Czech king and lalcr German Emperor Xarel IV. It was confirmed that both Bohemia and Moravia belonged to the Czech crown and never could be separated.

The royal scat of Jan Jindrich was the castle of Spilberk in Brno. Jan developed the towns, provided se-

Lands of Czech Crown
curity for the inhabitants and managed to enhance the properties of the Margravate. His eldest son Jost assumed the reign after Jan Jindrich's death in 1375 and continued the positive policies. Jost was the most interesting and historically significant Moravian Margrave, not only in political affairs but also in regard to cultural development. He was the last Margrave to live in Moravia, and manage and protect it.

After Jost's death in 1411, the Czech king Vaclav IV joined the Czech kingdom and the Margravate of Moravian under one ruler for permanency.

The Moravian Margravate as a political term managed to survive until the collapse of the Austria-Hungarian Empire after W.W.I. The title Moravian Margrave was among those held by the last Austrian Emperor Karl the 1st (Charles) who reigned in the years 1916 -1918.
An interesting aside - Karl von Habsburg's father. Archduke Otto was a nephew of Emperor Franz Joseph and his mother was "a pious Saxon princess." As a child Karel was a rascal but even from childhood he saw the sufferings of those less fortunate and sought to help them. This goodness developed into the virtue and saintliness of his adult life. He married Princess Zita of Bourbon-Parma and they had eight children. Karl became heir apparent to the Austrian throne upon the assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28. 1914 in Sarajevo. Emperor Franz Joseph was 84 at the time. Karl was crowned Nov. 21, 1916 in Hungary as King Karl IV. His subjects loved him but he and Empress Zita had a very sad life. Early in 1919 they were exiled to Switzerland and lived in abject poverty. In spite of all of this Karl died Aril 1,1922 as a crowned king. He was only 35. On the 50th anniversary of his death, his coffin was opened by "an ecclesiastical and family commission." His body was preserved intact; the case for beati-fication of the "Servant of God" has been completed and is awaiting a decision from Rome. There have been testimonials regarding his help. The Emperor Karl League of Prayers for Peace Among the Nations is working to spread information about Karl and further his cause.

Just in - Lanzhotcanka Brass Band tour from Lanzhot in the Pod-luzi region): Concerts & dance schedule: ILLINOIS - Octoberfest Sept 13,14,15 2002, Tiroli Inn, Romeoville, IL; MICHIGAN - Sept. 21, 22 - Moravian Days, Detroit; Union Hall: MICHIGAN- Sept. 28; OHIO Sept. 29, Perrysburg:; CANADA, Toronto - Oct. 5 -Hody; OHIO - Cleveland Oct. 6

Contact: Lada Gajda 708-442-9460 for additional information.

Castles and

Nearly all of Moravia, the eastern part of the Czech Republic, was the property of the aristocracy in the Middle Ages. The names of the most prominent families were Pemstejn and Zerotin and the knights of Hradec and Boskovic. During the Thirty Years' War the Protestant Estates were defeated in the Battle of White Mountain in 1620. The foreign aristocracy who remained faithful to the victorious Habsburgs were awarded huge estates confiscated from their owners. This is how the Lichtenstein family ended up owning nearly half of Moravia. The land was not returned to small Czech land holders until the second land reform.

The Czech aristocratic families built their spacious and comfortable family seats as early as the Gothic period during the 13th to the 15th centuries. Many of the magnificent late-Gothic Moravian castles date from this era.

The most outstanding is the castle at Kunstat which belonged to one of the most famous of the old Bohemian families, the Lords of Kunstat. The prominent king George of Podebrady belonged to this family; he reigned from 1458 - 1471. Another grand castle is the one at Boskovice.

The castle at Mikulov on the Moravian-Austrian frontier is another landmark but the best known of Moravian castles is that of Pemstejn, about 40 km northwest of Brno. It is built on a rock which projects over the Nedved brook, near the joining with the Svratka river.

Pemstejn is a magnificent complex of buildings and is outstanding for its artist design and spaciousness. The
castle boasts two preserved bastions, five gates, five tower forts and the main building houses an impressive Knight's Hall, a large library, a portrait gallery, a conspirator's hall and other curiosities.

Buchlov Castle

During the Thirty Years' War Pemstejn alone resisted the Swedish invasion and that is the reason the castle remained as the main fortification for the country from that time on. The castle was the property of the Pemstejn family long ago; later it belonged to the Lichtensteins.

The 16th century was a century of renaissance for Bohemia and Moravia. In all of middle Europe the Renaissance architecture of Moravia and the Moravian art of building are renowned. The rich aristocracy competed with the soverign and with the inspiration of the architects of the emperor, mostly Italians. Thir country houses were turned into magnificent palaces, castles and gardens that imitated to a lesser extent the royal parks in Prague.

The Lords of Boskovice built the ostentatious castle of Moravaska Trebova in northern Moravia near the Czech border. This was enlarged
under the lords of Zerotin by a complex of new Renaissance buildings; they also built their family seat of Boskovice and the second greatest Moravian castle, Buchlov, in the neighborhood of the famed pilgrimage place near Uherske Hradiste, the center of Slovacko on the Mor-ava River in eastern Moravia. These castles were rebuilt and refurbished in the new style.

But all these castles were surpassed by Bucovice castle, a jewel of renaissance architecture in Moravia built by Jan of Boskovice and Peter Ferrabasco Delgano from 1556 to 1582; a building with four wings and towers, with magnificent airy aril cades and elegant courtyards, with rich stucco ornamentation and a beautiful fountain created by an Italian sculptor.

The Pernstejns built the Renaissance castle of Prostejov in the Hana region and constructed another castle in Plumlov west of Prostejov with a magnificent four story facade and pillars. They also built castles in Prerov in the Hana region and Mor-avasky Krumlov in southwestern Moravia but these castles lost their original pure renaissance style when Baroque additions were made and thus some of their beauty.

The Lords of Hradec, who were well financed by the king, took the entire 16th century to build their magnificent castle in Tele in the southwestern corner of Moravia. The work of many architects, it showed a refined taste. The building of the castle played an important part in the rise of the town of Tele which has preserved the charm of the renaissance in rare measure.

The climax of the Moravian renaissance are the castles of the Lords of Zerotin in Namesti southwest of Brno, Rozice west of Brno and especially the castle in Veike Losiny with its magnificent arcades and precious interiors. Other interesting castles built by the Moravian aristocracy include Racice and Uhercice near Jemnice in southwestern Moravia.

The Baroque Era left its mark on castles in Moravia, where this style under the influence of Vienna achieved a rare perfection. First of all the spacious castle of Kromenz with a magnificent salla terena; the castle of Buch-lovice near Uherske Hradiste; the artistic castle of Jaromerice; and the castle in Slavkov southeast of Brno near where the famous battle of the Three Emperors was fought on Dec. 2, 1805 - Napoleon defeated the soldiers of Austrian Emperor Franz and the Russian Tsar Alexander. Grand Lednice which is preserved in Tudor-style has valuable art collections, Goeblin tapestries and a spacious antique park. Further evidence of Baroque garden culture can be seen in the gardens of the Archbishop of Kromeriz, the park of the castle in Veike Losiny and Zidlochovice, near Brno, the summer residence of Czech president Tomas Masaryk.

The second half of the 18th century brought a slackening of artistic creation in Moravia and a general stagnation. The era of classidsm and romanticism are mainly found in Moravia in the castle in Boskovice, built at the beginning of the 19th century in antique style and the renovation of the castle at Lednice which is accorded in Moravian architecture the same status as the
Stary Jicin Castle
magnificent castle of Hluboka in Eastern Bohemia. During the 19th century pseudo-historic styles predominate and only a few alterations to older castles have been carried out in typical style.

From this short survey it is clear what treasures of architecture remain in the beautiful region of Moravia, the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Moravian Castles and Palaces submitted by Bruno Schiller, MN from W estern Fraternal Insurance

Captions: Cover by Antonin Javora above right Stary Jicin Castle and below famed Milotice Castle

Czech Choir

The highly acclaimed Czech Boys Choir Boni Pueri, will be touring the US this summer. Concert dates during the month-long tour include: Sept. 23 - Sinsinawa Mound WI; July 24 - Mason City IA, July 25 and 26 - Ames IA; July 28 St. Paul MN; July 29 - St. cloud MN; July 30 - Aug. 4 - Ameri-fest, St. John's University, St. Cloud MN; Aug. 5 - World Choral Symposium; Minnesota MN; Aug. 6 - Rochester MY; Aug. 8 - Binghamton NY; Aug. 9 - Philadelphia PA; Aug. 11 and 12 - Washington DC; Aug. 13 -New York City.
Milotice Castle The group was founded in 1982 and is considered to be among the most prestigious ensembles in the Czech Republic. Three hundred and fifty boys aged 4-23 sing under the guidance of choir conductor Pavel Horak and choirmaster Jakub Martinec; the choir is divided into three groups who tour world-wide.

Czech Glas

An exhibit of Czech glass trom 1948 through 1978 opened May 16 at the Corning Glass Museum, Corning NY. More than 100 glass objects are on display showcasing glass design. 800-732-6845 or




The Zerotfn Family
A forefather of the famed Zerotin family Blud of Bludova was the majordomo of Prerov from 1213 - 1215. At the end of the 12th century, his descendants obtained the village of Zerotin in northern Moravian and there they received their new surname ze Zerotina (of Zerotin). In 1478 the Zerotins were granted the status of Lords. Jan of Zerotin served in Karel V's army and was with him several times in battles in northern Africa. Bernard
Coats of Arms
of Zerotin also served in the army and visited many places in the world. Karel Senior of Zerotin (1564-1636) fought in France in 1590 on the Huguenot side. As a Moravian leader he tried to remain neutral during the Czech uprisings. The Habsburgs were not unfriendly to him but he decided to leave the country. In Moravia only one branch of the family remained; they were made Counts in 1706.

The Thurn family
Ancestors of the Thurns were a family named Torriani who lived in northern Italy since the 12th century. From the 14th century the family was called della Torre and after 1500 one of the lines living in Gorizia was Germanized. This line changed their name to Thurn. The first member of the family who came to Bohemia in the second half of the the 16th century was Franz Thurn. He served for Prince Ferdinand of Tyrolia. Franz Thurn had his family history and documents researched and found that his ancestors owned the county of Valassino in Italy. The Emperor reward Franz with the title of Count and the name of Valassion. His son Jindrich Matyas was one of the leaders of the Uprising in 1618 and a commander of the Estates forces. Jindrich later escaped from the country and died in Pernava in present day Estonia.
Vickov Family
The family name came from Vickov castle near Tisnov in Moravia. The first knight of Vickov is mentioned at the beginning of the 14th century. His grandson Bohuslav of Vickov was named the Judge of Moravia in 1353. The family sold Vickov Castle and bought the estate of Prusinovice in the second half of the 15th century. Since that time they were called the Prusinovskys form Vickov. Two of the most famous of the family members were Vilem Prusinovsky (1565 - 1572) who was the Bishop of Olomouc and Jan Adam Prusinovsky of Vickov who had his castle at Cejkovice and fought in the uprising. He had to leave the country but returned in 1623 to lead an uprising of Moravian Valachs. The family died out in the 17th century.

The Zafuba family
The line of knights of Hustirany was divided and the Zaruba branch of the Hustival family was established in the second half of the 15th century. The line was begun by Karel Zaruba (who died in 1619) and was located at Sec, Radim and Cerek-vice. Although Karel's son supported the Czech Estates uprising, he was not punished for it. Nevertheless he decided to leave the country and moved to Saxony in 1628. He returned
to Bohemia in 1631 with a Saxon army. When he left Bohemia again, he cooperated with Czech leaders in exile, mainly with the Thurns. He returned in 1634 to organize a new government in Litomerice with Vaclav Vilem of Roupova and other emigrants; despite this, the Habsburgs didn't punish him and he even received an official pardon. The rest of his relatives were pro-Habsburg oriented.

Zaitfiel family
One of the oldest Moravian families are the Zastrizls. The most important lines were Praksicky of Zastrizly who owned Praksice near Uhersky Brod and Mokovsky of Zastrizly who owned Morkovice near Kromeriz. Jan Zigmund Prasicky of Zastrizly (who died in 1619) was a friend of the Protestant theologist Theodore Bez from Switzerland. The Praksicky family was very active in the estates uprising. Bernard Praksicky senior was one of the leaders. All the property of the Praksicky line was confiscated. The Morkovsky line was punished but they collaborated with the Habsburgs. The last male member of the Morkovsky line died in 1687.

(to be continued in the next issue)

Czech Study

During 2001 more than 1,200 students came to Prague to study, making the Czech Republic the leading destination for US students in the region of Eastern and Central Europe.

Educational programs are offered directly by Czech universities, by international educational exchange programs and by U.S. universities in the form of study abroad programs. Students who wish to participate in programs in English can gain more information on the site Centre of Higher Educational Studies - CHES,

Some schools offer complete programs taught in English. Czech students along with international students from around the world can study in an American-style undergraduate program in various fields at the Anglo-American College, or at the University of New York - Prague, MBA programs are offered in cooperation with U.S. schools for example at the U.S. Business School, or at the CMC Graduate School of Business,

Charles University and the University of Economics in Prague, Masaryk University in Brno and Palacky University in OIomouc offer their own programs in English mainly in central European or Slavonic studies.

Many higher institutions located in the Czech Republic cooperate with U.,S. Schools to develop study abroad programs based in the Czech Republic, check out Collegium, Hier-onymi Pragensis, Other programs arc provided by U.S. based organizations. Info on opportunities: and

To study Czech during the summer:

Kroj Conference

A first - a Kroj Conference focusing on the folk dress of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia will be held at the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa Sept. 6 and 7. (contact info on page 8) Participants will have an opportunity to see and learn about the great variety of folk dress and the meaning of the motifs. There will be presentations on the geographic, fashion and foreign influences that played significant roles in the development and diversity of kroj. Speakers include Dr. Jirina Langhammerova (Director of the Ethnographic Section of the National Museum in Prague), Mary B. Kelly (motifs expert), Linda Welters (textile expert) and Helene Cincebeaux (ethnographer and collector.) Opportunity to have pieces identified, seek advice about textile care & conservation, observe lace making and embroidery techniques, enjoy a Parade of Kroj, tour the ex-hibit& take a beading workshop.

Shoes & Weddings is the interesting theme of a year long exhibit at the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto (p.8) A Moravian bride and groom from Ratiskovice are featured.