House of Loužecký z Louzku

Coat of arms of the noble house of Loužecký z Louzku

The House of Loužecký z Louzku (German: Lausecker von Lusek or Lauseker von Lusek) is one of the oldest Czech noble houses evidenced by numerous historical sources. The parent house of this family was the House of Bavor, lords of Strakonice. The heraldic legend of the house says it was one branch of the Rurikid dynasty of the Kievan Rus. The comparison of genetic material (Y-DNA) of the heirs of the noble house confirms that the House Bavor of Strakonice descended from the Rurik dynasty founded in 862. The testing done through MyTrueAncestry shows that the patrilinear Y-chromosome haplogroup of the House of Loužecký z Louzku is N1a1a1a1a1a1a1a – identical to the Rurikids, the Princes of Kiev i.e. the subgroup distance is zero. When comparing DNA with individual members of the Rurikid dynasty, there was a 98% genetic match with Gleb Svyatoslavich, Prince of Novgorod (✶ c. 1052 – † 1078) . Another sample match with 97% included lzyaslav lngvarevych, Prince of Dorogobuzh (✶ 1024 -† 1078). The historical connection of the House of Bavor with the Rurik dynasty supports the marriage policy of the Czech king Přemysl Ottokar II (✶ 1233 – † 1278) who in 1261 married Queen Kunigunda of Halych (✶ 1245 – † 1285) a princess of the Rurik dynasty.

The first historically known member of the house of was Dluhomil I. († 1123) a magnate who held the title of pan (Latin: comes). He is recorded by the most important Czech chronichler Cosmas of Prague (✶ c. 1045 – † 1125) as having died on his return from a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on 8th July 1123. On this journey, he accompanied the Bishop of Olomouc, the Venerable Jindfich Zdik (✶ c. 1083 – † 1150) . His son, pan Bavor (✶ 1146 – † 1167) was also a magnate and a generous patron of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem to whom he gave an entire village that was part of his feudal estate in 1167. The son of Bavor, pan Dluhomil II. († c. 1177 or 1186) held one of the highest court ranks of the Kingdom of Bohemia, the office of mundschenk (German: highest cup-bearer) between the years 1175 and 1177, after which he was granted the second highest rank of highest marshall. The brother of Dluhomil II. was Jan 5th Bavor († 1201), the Bishop of Olomouc from 1199 to 1201.

Ancient coat of arms of the
noble House of Bavor

The son of Dluhomil II. was the prominent pan Bavor of Radomysl († c. 1224 or 1225 ) another magnate of the House of Bavor and holder of the prestigious office of high chamberlain of Olomouc, which was actually the highest procurator and one of the four highest officials of the Olomouc estate in Moravia. Alll these ancestors used the nobiliary predicate of Radomysl and the ancient title pan (Czech: lord) and the rank count, because the Kingdom of Bohemia and the Margraviate of Moravia had no other princes besides those who were direct members of the royal family. Bavor’s son was prince Bavor I of Strakonice († 1260). As this nobleman had left Moravia and spent his life in Bohemia, he continued to use the noble title pan like his ancestors, but now with the rank of a prince as well as the nobiliary predicate of Strakonice which was derived from his most important feudal estate, the town Strakonice. From 1238 to 1239 he held the title mundschenk (German: highest cup-bearer) in the Kingdom of Bohemia, and from 1254 to 1260 the title highest chamberlain.

His son was prince Bavor II of Strakonice (✶ 1250 – † 1279) who was called Bavor the Great and was one of the most important members of the noble house. His wife was princess Agnes of Bohemia (✶ 1269 – † 1296) the daugther of Czech king Přemysl Ottokar II (✶ 1233 – † 1278). From 1277 he also held one the highest noble titles, the office of high marshall.

Basic geneaology of the noble house of Bavor of Strakonice

The sons, nephews and descendants of Bavor II of Strakonice later formed important noble clans, and all of them had the heraldic sign of an arrow in their coat of arms. Sadly, no geneaology remains of these branchings of the noble House of Bavor. The most important cadet branches that came from this times were the following: Bavorov of Blatná, of Červený Hrádek, of Drahonice, of Dražovice, of Dvorce, of Háj, of Chlum, of Kamenný Újezd, of Křemže, of Maškovec, of Nečtin, of Otvice, of Panenská Rosička, of Pořešín, of Radomyšl, of Služátky, of Smilov, of Strádov, of Stropnice, of Střela, of Štěkeň, of Třešť, of Tmáň, of Újezd, of Velimovice, of Vitějovice. All of these branches are extinct while the only surviving branch of the noble house of Bavor is the of Louzek cadet branch. This cadet branch received its name from the castle Louzek near Kaplice whose ruins are still visible in the south Bohemian landscape. The early history of the House of Loužecký z Louzku cannot be reconstructed acuratelly because the original documents were repeatedly destroyed during the religious wars in Czechia when the castle was destroyed three times, firstly in 1432, secondly in 1611 and again in 1619. Due to its southern location the castle was exposed to was and conflicts of the times and lacks written documents.

The ruins of castle Louzek, the ancestral seat of the noble House of Loužecký

The first historically documented owner of castle Louzek, and perhaps the progenitor of the noble House of Loužecký z Louzku, was Petr Harachěř of Louzek, the burgrave House of Rožmberk (German: Rosenberg) at the castle Vítkův Kámen in 1419. The other oldest members of the family documented in the Vyšší Brod Land Records and family documents were Vok (fl. 1470 – 1490), Urban (✶ 1510 – † 1560) and Matyáš (✶ 1539 – † 1639). After 1619, the noble house became impoverished as a result of the religious wars that transpired in the southern parts of Bohemia, and it fell to the level of the bourgeoisie. As a result of this the ancestors of the noble house of Loužecký z Louzku worked as municipal administrators and as councillors of the South Bohemian settlements in Jindřichův Hradec, Kaplice and Rychnov nad Malší. Between 1619 and 1762, members of the house did not use the nobiliary predicate z Louzku and wrote our family name mostly in German form as Lausecker, but sometimes also in Czech form as Loužecký. During this perios the noble house gave three prominent members of the clergy. The first of these was Eufemie Loužecká (German: Lausecker) who was the 23rd abbess of the monastery of the Poor Clares in Český Krumlov between 1678 and 1686. The second was Václav Loužecký, a Jesuit in the monastery of St. Michael in Znojmo in the second half of the 17th century, who wrote a brief history of the family called “Father Václav’s Letter”. He heroically distinguished himself during the Battle of Prague (1648) against the Swedish army when he was wounded during the fighting. He wrote a manuscript where he gave an account of the battle, including the names of his fellow soldiers and witnesses. These war merits entitled him to upgrade his noble title, however, he did not take this new opportunity but rather bequeathed it and his own right by writing to his relatives about it. Leopold Loužecký was canon of the collegiate chapter of St. Cosmas and Damian in Stará Boleslav and dean in Budyně nad Ohří in the middle of the 18th century. He initiated the construction of the Dientzenhofer’s Church of St. Peter and Paul in Kostelec nad Ohří.

Escutcheon of the House of Bavor from a medieval armorial (1405)

At the beginning of the 18th century the family entered a new period of properity and development, at this time the members of the noble house worked as administrators of estates and burgraves, i.e. as official nobility in the service of influential landowners (notably the House of Lobkowicz and the House of Thurn – Taxis) or as soldiers or clergy. The second most important member of the house was Vojtěch Jiří Loužecký ( ✶ 1720 – † 1767) whos was trancribed in German as Adalbert Georg Lauseker. He was a taxator (a high official who assessed fees for registration in the Land Records of the Kingdom of Bohemia) and a councillor of the town of Hradčany (today part of Prague). Empress Maria Theresa granted him and his descendants the title nobleman (German: Edler) and improved his coat of arms on 18th October 1763.

Colonel Josef Loužecký (✶ 1782 – † 1852) was a soldier by profession and a participant in the anti-Napoleonic battles of Aspern (1809) and Wagram (1809 ), where he was severely wounded. Petr Jindřich Loužecký (✶ 1783 – † 1855) was an important forester and botanist. Josef Louzecky (✶ 1900 – † 1942) was the mayor of Neuměřice, a cipherer of the anti-Nazi resistance and a victim of Nazi persecution. He died during his arrest by the Gestapo in an effort to protect his country from the German occupiers.

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