The Czech branch of the House of Thurn und Taxis was founded in 1808 by Maximilian Joseph von Thurn und Taxis (Regensburg 29 May 1769-Prague 15 May 1831), who was the youngest child of Alexander Ferdinand von Thurn und Taxis (Frankfurt-am-Main 21 Mar 1704-Regensburg 17 Mar 1773) and his third wife Maria Henriette von Fürstenberg (Prague 31 Mar 1732-Regensburg 4 Jun 1772). In 1791, Maximilian married Duchess Eleonore von Lobkowicz (Prague 22 Apr 1770-Lautschin 9 Nov 1834), from an old Czech noble family whose origin can be traced back to Mares Martin z Ujezda (1376-90). In 1808, he inherited Lautschin (Loučeň in Czech) and Dobrovice castles from his cousin Maria Josefa von Fürstenberg, and in 1820 permanently settled in Bohemia. Besides Lautschin and other rural estate, the family also owned real estate in Prague that included two palaces: one in the city's uptown (V jámě 635-636, no longer exists) and one in the old town (Vrtbovský Palace in Malá Strana, purchased in 1814). Maximilian and Eleonore had six sons: the firstborn was Karl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis (not to be confused with his oncle Prince Karl Anselm of Regensburg, heir to the House of Thurn und Taxis wealth).
In 1815 Karl Anselm von Thurn und Taxis (Prague 18 June 1792-Teplitz 25 Aug 1844) married Marie Isabelle, Gfn u. Edle Hrn von und zu Eltz Faust von Stromberg (Dresden 10 Feb 1795-Prague 12 March 1859). They had 6 children: Marie Sophie (von Montfort), Hugo (heir to the family estate), Eleonore, Emerich, Marie Theresa (Belcredi), and Rudolf von Troskow.
Rudolf von Troskow (Prague 25 Nov 1833-Velehrad 4 Jul 1904) married in 1857 Jenny Ständler (Prague 9 Apr 1830-Graz 28 Sep 1914). Rudolf was an intellectual who loved Czech music and literature and was an avid patron of the arts. He studied law and in 1861 founded "Právník," the first Czech language law journal. Aided by Karel Jaromír Erben, he also created Czech vocabulary for legal terminology. He was sincerely devoted to the Czech national cause and was one of its important players: he was the publisher of "Boleslavan," a Czech language weekly dedicated to the cause, and became the first chairman of the famous Czech choir Hlahol. He was also a member of the Committee for the Establishment of the Czech National Theatre (1861) and one of the founders of Czech arts society Umělecká beseda in Prague (1863). He supported Czech writers Božena Němcová, Vítězslav Hálek, and Karolina Světlá, and promoted Czech composers Antonín Dvořák and Bedřich Smetana. The latter composed his opera Braniboři v Čechách at Rudolf's estate in Niměřice. In 1894, Rudolf gave up his family name and adopted the title of "Freiherr von Troskow," granted to him at his request by the Emperor Franz Joseph I. Ten years later he died while visiting his daughter Hedvika in Velehrad. In 1930, his and his wife's remains were exhumed and reinterred in the family grave in Stará Boleslav.
Hugo Maximilian von Thurn und Taxis (Prague 3 July 1817-Lautschin 28 Nov 1889) married Almeria Gfn von Belcredi (Ingrowitz 8 Oct 1819-Lautschin 25 Sep 1914). Hugo's estate included castles in Dobrovice, Lautschin (Loucen in Czech) and Mzells (Mcely), and estates in Vlkava, Niměřice and Ceteň. Hugo had 4 legitimate children: Karoline, Egmont (who died young), Alexander (his heir), and Maria Theresia.
Alexander Johann Vincenz Rudolf Hugo Karl Lamoral Eligius von Thurn und Taxis (Lautschin 1 Dec 1851-Lautschin 21 July 1939) married in 1875 Marie zu Hohenlohe-Waldenburg Schillingsfürst (Venice 28 Dec 1855-Lautschin 16 Feb 1934). They inherited Lautschin in 1889. Both Alexander and Marie were avid patrons of the arts (Alexander himself played violin and Marie was an amateur painter), and although they were not wealthy, compared to their Regensburg relatives, they were generous and never hesitated to support a good cause. Marie's protégé Rainer Maria Rilke used to visit the family at their castles Lautschin and Duino. He dedicated his Duino Elegies to the princess who in turn wrote about him in her published memoirs. Besides Rilke, regular guests at the castle in Lautschin included Karel Sladkovský and Bedřich Smetana who in 1880 dedicated his composition Z domoviny for violin and piano to Alexander. After Smetana's death, Alexander designated the house in nearby Jabkenice, where Smetana lived his last years, as Smetana's museum and donated land for his memorial. Other artists known to visit the castle included F. X. Salda, Eliška Krásnohorská, Karel Bendl, members of the Czech Quartet (who included composer Josef Suk), and Mark Twain (who visited the castle during his European travels in 1899). Alexander also loved to travel and he was a passionate hunter who made several hunting trips to Africa, occasionally accompanied by Czech traveller Bedřich Machulka; he later donated his animal trophies to the National Museum in Prague. He belonged to Knights of Malta and financially assisted a number of charitative causes. Together with his father Hugo he was also instrumental in building the first railway in the Region. The railway was built on his land that he graciously donated for the project. When his son Erich, who studied in Cambridge, brought to Lautschin a new game known as football, he helped him establish the first football team in Bohemia (1889). The team made history when it played in the first official football match historically recorded in Bohemia (1893). The Lautschin team competed against Regatta, the best team in the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. The match took place at the famous Císařská louka in Prague on 18.4.1893 and ended with the Thurn Taxis team losing 0:5. This was still considered a great success for the Lautschin players and the Vienna newspapers Wiener Sportzeitung did not hesitate to conclude that the team from Lautschin was the second best team after Regatta in the Empire. The family's burial place is in Syčín (Seitzin) near Dobrovice.
Alexander had 3 legitimate children: Erich (Mzells 11 Jan 1876-Kremsegg 20 Oct 1952), Eugen (Prague 27 Mar 1878-Prague 4 Mar 1903), and Alexander (Mzells 8 Jul 1881-Duino 11 Mar 1937). Erich married Gfn. Gabriele Kinsky in 1903 and in 1925 moved to Austria where he died in 1952. He had nine children, and his son Alexander Ferdinand (1906-1992) held the Lautschin Castle until the end of the war in 1945 when it was confiscated by the Czechoslovak State (his cousin, Ludwig (Luigi) della Torre e Tasso, held the Mzells Castle until 1948). Erich's brother Alexander moved to Italy in 1923 where he died at the Duino Castle in 1937 as the first Duca di Castel Duino (Duke of Castle Duino). His children by his first wife Princess Marie de Ligne bear the title of Prince(ss) della Torre e Tasso. After Alexander's death, the castle in Duino was inherited by his son Raymundo (1907-1986), and has remained a part of Torre e Tasso family's estate since. Descendants of the House of Thurn und Taxis in Bohemia, a family that had played an important part in the Czech national culture and the local history for 140 years, have once again dispersed around the world.
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