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From the history of Countly and Princely
family of Thun - Hohenstein

Historie zámku


Origin and status of family, family branches

The Thun family originate from Italian-German borderland in the South Tyrol which devolved upon Italy after the dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire. A large part of South Tyrol occupy the historical region of Trento (Trentino), a former ecclesiastical principality: the Prince-Bishops of Trent ruled here since 1027 until 1803, when the territory has been secularized (by transferring under the secular administration).

History of the Thun family began to write in this region. Its birthplace is a territory in southern and central parts of Valle di Non, since time immemorial called Ton (Tono, Tuno). The oldest evidence of the Lords of Tono date back to the 12th century (1145 - 1187), at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries are already known several family branches. Villein socage on the Bishopric of Trent and obligations arising from it have in the 14th century requested the jural delimitation of hereditary succession in the family - order of elders (seniors) has been instituted and the patrimony descended to the eldest family member according to it, regardless of ancestral lineage or the proximity of kinship.
In the positions of provincial property managers, bishop's burgraves and ducal castles increased the social importance of ancestry and its assets as well as power broadened to Thuns became one of the most important family in the country over the 15th century. Its members penetrated into the court of Count of Tyrol and got the notable secular authorities and clerical ranks. Once they reached the lineal authority Cup-bearers of Bishopric of Trento (1448), the designate Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. promoted one family branch to the Knight banneret state (1495) and in 1530 were Thuns promoted to Baron state. Soon they obtained also lineal authority Cup-bearers of Bishopric of Brixen (1558). In the year 1604 the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II. confirmed a status Freiherr of the Empire to the five most remarkable members of the family, with a coat of arms improvement.

Coat of arms of Thuns
(1495)
Coat of arms of Freiherr
of the Empire
(1604)

Hand in hand with a social rise also grew an ancestral property, which was significantly multiplied by the Czech domain and estates, gained from confiscations and sales after the Battle of White Mountain (the Czech ennoblement obtained brothers Jan Cyprián and Kryštof Šimon Thun in the year 1627). Career in the imperial service during the Thirty Years' War has strengthened the position of the family and laid the foundations of its new expansion in Bohemia. In the year 1628 Thuns broadened their name with a noble predicate of Hohenstein, according to county in Lower Saxony, which they acquired at that time, but lost it again after the end of the Thirty Years' War when the estate devolved to Brandenburg-Prussia according to Peace of Westphalia. However, Thuns kept their extended title. Thun - Hohensteins were ennobled to status of Imperial Counts in the year 1629, with a coat of arms improvement.

Coat of arms of Imperial Count
(1629)