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About Liechtenstein - Prince Karl I

Prince Karl von Liechtenstein

Reigned: 1608 - 1627

Born 1569, Died 1627.

Picture of Prince Karl 1st von LiechtensteinAt the turn of the 16th Century, the three brothers Karl, Maximilian, and Gundaker initiated a new period in the history of the family. They converted to Catholicism and his brothers were given the hereditary rank of Imperial Prince in 1623.

The provisions of this hereditary covenant forms the basis of the right to succession to the throne in the Principality of Liechtenstein. In the critical days of the early 17th century, the House of Liechtenstein stood by the Hapsburgs. The decisive victory against the Bohemian rebels in 1620 was achieved through the intervention of the brothers Karl and Maximilian.

Karl is the founder of what is now the House of Liechtenstein. He was raised as a Protestant and enjoyed the best possible education in the School of the Bohemian Brothers. In 1599, he converted to Catholicism. Emperor Rudolf II appointed Karl von Liechtenstein as Chief Chamberlain, the highest office of court, which included the chairmanship of the Privy Council an office he held with some interruptions until 1607. He received the Great Palatinate in the same year.

In the dispute between the Hapsburg brothers, he aligned himself with the party of Archduke Matthias, who elevated him to the hereditary rank of Prince in 1608. After a temporary retreat from the political sphere, he assumed the government of the newly acquired Silesian Duchy of Troppau in 1614.

During the Bohemian rebellion, the Prince took the side of Emperor Ferdinand II and was given the task of arresting and executing the rebels after the Battle of Weissen Berg. In 1622, the Emperor appointed Karl von Liechtenstein as Governor and Vice-Regent of Bohemia, and he was bestowed with the Order of the Golden Fleece. In the same year, he was honoured with the Silesian Duchy of Jägerndorf, which in conjunction with Troppau formed the equivalent in property to the rank of Prince.

Through the acquisition of confiscated "rebel properties," the real estate of the House of Liechtenstein was substantially increased. After Karl's death (1627), the provisions stipulated by the hereditary accord of 1606 with his brothers regarding the family estate and succession came into effect for the first time. The three brothers, Karl, Maximilian and Gundaker succeeded in enlarging the properties of the Liechtenstein family many times over. They signed a new Family Covenant in 1606, which contained the stipulation that the first-born son of the oldest line should have the right to the hereditary title and should represent the family as the Regent of the House.

Next - Prince Karl Eusebius

Karl IKarl Eusebius - Hans Adam I - Anton Florian - Josef I - Johann Nepomuk - Josef Wenzel - Franz Josef I - Alois I - Johann I - Alois II - Johann II - Franz - Franz Josef II - Hans Adam II - The Future - Alois