history of the Duchy of Bohemia

The Duchy of Bohemia is an independent and sovereign micronation under the governance of the Duke of Bohemia. The Duchy is not affiliated with the Czech government, its officers or offices.

Map of The Holy Roman Empire circa 1648, Showing Kingdom of Bohemia in green

Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia are territories which are or have been considered as Lands of the Bohemian Crown Latin: Corona regni Bohemiae). These lands were originally ruled by dukes (ca. 870–1085, 1092–1158, and 1172–1198) and kings (1085–1092, 1158–1172, and 1198–1918).

 

Kelley L. Ross, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, Los Angeles Valley College tells us regarding Bohemia that "the Czech domain of Bohemia, ...accepted German suzerainty as a Duchy by 925, later upgraded to a Kingdom in 1158"

 

 

Map showing Duchy of Bohemia in relation to the Stem Duchies of the Holy Roman Empire

The Rosenbergs (in Czech "Rozmberk") are considered among the most significant, venerable, noble and influential of the Bohemian noble families. Their members held posts at the Bohemian and imperial court of the Holy Roman Empire, and so went down in the history of the area in a significant way. The emblem of this family was represented by a red five-petalled rose in a green field which is still often seen in a considerable part of South Bohemia. It was the Rosenbergs who influenced to a great extent the appearance of South Bohemia

Coat-of-arms of the Lords of Rosenberg

Original Rosenberg Coat of Arms

 

Coat of Arms of Jost III von Rosenberg

The founder of the family was Vítek III, the son of Vítek z Pr ice. The Rosenbergs thus originated as one of family branches of the Vítkovci. The family residence, the Rosenberg castle, was founded around the year 1250 by Wok.

After the Lords of Krumlov died out in 1302, JindYich I took over the Krumlov castle as well as the whole property of the allied family branch and he transferred the family residence to Krumlov. Wilhelm von Rosenberg was indisputably the most significant representative of the family as he made eský Krumlov the centre of cultural and political life. After his death in 1592, his younger brother Peter Wok von Rosenberg assumed the reign. In 1601, he was forced to sell the Krumlov castle to the Emperor Rudolf II of Habsburg. Peter Wok moved to Tyeboh where he died in 1611.

Rožmberk Castle

Modern photo of Rosenberg (Rozmberk) Castle

The Rosenberg ("Rožmberk") castle came into existence in the first half of the 13th century under a member of the powerful family of the Vítkovci (or in Latin-Germ: Witigonen), Vok z Pr ice who later called himself after this castle Vok von Rosenberg. Shortly thereafter, a tributary town was established then grew in the barbican. The castle became the administrative and economic center of the estates. In 1302 when the cadet Krumlov branch of the Vítkovci died out, Vok's offspring inherited eský Krumlov and they settled there permanently.

About 1420 OldYich II of Rožmberk ( 1403 - 1462) was forced to incur heavy debts on the castle in favor ofthe Lords of Walsee from Austria  in order to raise funds to finance the army against the Hussites. OldYich was father to Perchta the White Lady. The Rožmberk castle was later paid off but in 1465 was again pawned again to the Lobkovic family. The castle was also subsequently again paid off.

In 1600 Petr Vok von Rosenberg passed the castle with estates over to his nephew Johann Zrinski of Seryn (1565 - 1612) the son of Nikola Subic Zrinski, who later rebuilt the castle in Renaisance style. When he died in 1612 the estates were inherited by the Svamberks, relatives of the Rožmberks, shortly thereafter lost the castle when all their estates were confiscated after the Battle of White Mountain, when the estates were given to the commander of the Imperial army, Karel Bonaventura Buquoy. The castle was nationalized following World War II.

The castle was opened to the public in the middle of the 19th century as one of the first museums in Bohemia. The tradition of the Rožmberks is represented by the Renaissance graffito decoration of the outside facades with beautiful painted decorations of the interiors (especially the famous Music niche in the so-called Knight's hall). The tradition of the counts of Buquoy celebrates the history of the family which owned the castle until 1945. Neither the style nor the furniture of the castle have been changed since its reconstruction in the Romantic style was completed. The interiors, mostly renovated in the Neo-Gothic style, are furnished with valuable pieces of furniture, some of which were made especially with special wood carving for the use of the museum. The castle picture gallery contents a few valuable Czech and European pictures from artists of the Late Renaissance and Baroque eras, such as Bartolomeo Spranger, Karel Škréta, Jan Kupecký, and Norbert Grund. The armoury has a unique collection of stabbing and cutting weapons, arms, and relics of war.

Bohemia during the times of the Holy Roman Empire:

The Holy Roman Empire (Latin: Sacrum Romanum Imperium, German: Heiliges Römisches Reich, auch Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation) was a monarchy in Central Europe during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Although based on the Kingdom of Germany, it eventually consisted of a conglomeration of sub-states. The Kingdom of Germany emerged from the final partition of the Frankish Empire following the Treaty of Verdun in 843. Although the first Holy Roman Emperor was considered to be Charlemagne, crowned on December 25 of the year 800, the continuous line of emperors from the Kingdom of Germany actually began with Otto the Great. The last in the unbroken line was Francis II, who abdicated and dissolved the Empire in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars.

From the late 15th century onwards, the Holy Roman Empire was also known as the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation ( in German: Heiliges Römisches Reich Deutscher Nation). 

 

Although the medieval emperor claimed to carry on the traditions of the ancient Roman Empire, most of the empire's subjects were Germans, and the empire is considered the forerunner of modern Germany and Austria. Founded as an expansive dynastic empire, the state eventually became a loose association of small states and city-states, with few shared institutions.

 

The Empire's territorial extent varied over its history, but at its peak it encompassed the territories of present-day Germany and Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Luxembourg and Bohemia (now known as the Czech Republic) and also the Netherlands, Belgium and Slovenia,  as well as large parts of modern France, Italy and Poland. For much of its history, the Empire consisted of hundreds of smaller kingdoms, principalities, duchies, counties, Free Imperial Cities, and other domains.

 

In the time of the Napoleonic Wars, the Empire was formally dissolved on August 6, 1806 when the Holy Roman Emperor Francis II (from 1804, Emperor Francis I of Austria) abdicated, following a military defeat by the French under Napoleon. Napoleon reorganized much of the empire into the Confederation of the Rhine, which was a French satellite. Francis' House of Habsburg-Lorraine survived that demise of the Empire under Napoleon, and House of Habsburg-Lorraine continued itsreign as Emperors of Austria and Kings of Hungary until the last and final Habsburg empire's final dissolution in 1918 following World War I.

Bohemia came under the House of Habsburg, who reigned as emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from 1526 continuously till the abdication of the final Habsburg Emperor Karl's abdication on November 11, 1918.

Reproduced below is Austro-Hungarian Emperor Karl I's abdication announcement, published on 11 November 1918:

Emperor Karl's Abdication Proclamation, 11 November 1918

"Since my accession I have incessantly tried to rescue my peoples from this tremendous war.

I have not delayed the re-establishment of constitutional rights or the opening of a way for the people to substantial national development. Filled with an unalterable love for my peoples I will not, with my person, be a hindrance to their free development.

I acknowledge the decision taken by German Austria to form a separate State. The people has by its deputies taken charge of the Government. I relinquish every participation in the administration of the State. Likewise I have released the members of the Austrian Government from their offices.

May the German Austrian people realize harmony from the new adjustment. The happiness of my peoples was my aim from the beginning. My warmest wishes are that an internal peace will be able to heal the wounds of this war.

(Signed) KARL "

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. VI, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

Official Position Statement of the Current Micronational Government of The Duchy of Bohemia:

Upon the abdication of Emperor Karl I in 1918, Bohemia was without a sovereign. Therefore, Karl's former vassal nation-states became de facto free, sovereign and independent of the rule of the Holy Roman Empire and House of Habsburg-Lorraine. As Bohemia was previously a sovereign state and in more ancient times a duchy and thereafter a kingdom, it is contended that upon Karl I's abdication, it de facto reverted and again became one upon Karl I's abdication. The present day micronational Duchy of Bohemia is now deemed to be free, soverign and independent, under the rule of the current monarch of the Duchy of Bohemia micronation.

 

 

 

Image:Location of Czech city Vyssi Brod.png

Location of Castle Rozmberk in Bohemia, South of Prague


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