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Archduke Karel Ludvík Jan

Some information about general Karel who gave his name to the Karlova Studánka health resort

Archduke Karel Ludvík Jan - lived in 1771 - 1847. He was a grandson of the Czech and Hungarian queen and empress on the Austrian throne Marie Terezie (1740-1780). He was also a brother of the emperor František II. (I.), because he was the third son of the emperor Leopold II. (Marie Terezie ´s second born son). Despite of Karel ´ s short shape and hereditary disease of the Habsburg family, epilepsy, he belonged to the best and most famous warriors. Evidently, he was the favourite commander in Austria during the Napoleon era. Thanks to his gentle origin he became an imperial Field - Marshall when he was 25 years old. Repeatedly he was an Austrian commander - in - chief. He improved the discipline of the forces by pointing out increased mobility and better manoeuvring ability of the troops, he was particular in quality of shooting. He divided the army to self - contained corps disposing of all sorts of weapons, which were able to operate abstractedly. The army corps consisted of three divisions, each division had two brigades and each brigade had two regiments + a hunt battalion. Each regiment consisted of three battalions from 600 to 700 men. It fought carefully, waiting for its time and it defeated the French several times. In 1793 he became a Governor General of the Austrian Netherlands. In autumn 1797 he pushed French revolutionary forces back to the line of the Rhine. In 1798 he was named for a Captain General of the Czech kingdom. As the Captain General of the imperial army he achieved several triumphs in 1799 - 1800, but because of problems and differences with his brother - the emperor František II. (I.) and the Courtly War Council, he had resigned for his function. In 1801 - 1805 he acted as a Chairman of the Courtly War Council. In 1801 Karel became a great master of the German Knights Order - after Maxmilian II. František (Marie Terezie ´s youngest son who initiated the medical treatment at our health resort. In 1804 general Karel devolved this function on his brother, archduke Antonín Viktor. The year 1803 was connected with the rename of the health resort after Karel, from original name Hinewieder to Karlsbrunn, at the time when the first brick building - Koupelový house (present Post office) had been built. Also the first therapeutic springs were named after the great masters at the time of their discovery (Maxmilián ´s spring from 1780, Karel ´s spring from 1802, Antonín ´s spring from 1812).

In 1805 general Karel defeated the French at Calgier, but in the same year, his brother, emperor František II. (I.), lost the most famous battle of Napoleon, at Slavkov, (in consequence of this battle, František II. - at that time also the Roman emperor - was forced to abdicate and announce the death of the millenary Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation - in 1806, he kept the title of the Austrian Emperor by which he had been titled since August 1804, as František I.). In 1806 general Karel became a Generalissimo and a War Minister. In 1808 the Spanish proclaimed him the king (thanks to Marie Ludvika he also had Spanish royal blood) to gain Spanish allies in a fight against Napoleon that way. Archduke Karel refused this alluring, but hazardous Spanish crown. General Karel defeated Napoleon, who lost only three battles from 77 ones, (Karel was the first general in Europe who managed to defeat Napoleon). The battle took place on 21 May 1809, on suburb of Vienna, near the village of Aspern and on 22 May 1809 at Esslingen. Unfortunately, he did not achieve to use this victory well and after the battle at Wagram, from 5 to 7 July 1809 he offered the armistice to Napoleon. Since that time, he had not interfered to political events and making war. It is well - known about archduke Karel that at the second marriage of Napoleon with the Austrian princess Maria Luisa (the oldest daughter of the emperor František I.) the emperor ´s brother, archduke Karel, took the place of the absent groom - Napoleon - at the wedding ceremony in Vienna and in 1810 he accompanied his niece, princess Maria Luisa, (later she fell in love with Bonaparte and gave birth to Napoleon ´s son Orlík) to her groom to France and to French imperial court.

General Karel was very popular with his soldiers, mainly thanks to his army reformation, which he was effectuating after 1801. He introduced conscription differently, reorganized the command and annihilated hateful lifelong military service - he cut it according to the individual sorts of weapons to 10 - 14 years (military service was cut to 8 years as late as in 1847). The emperor František II. (I.) was jealous in many respects of his three years younger brother, general Karel. He envied him his popularity with the soldiers, his all - embracing abilities, virtuosity and improvisation when playing the piano and, later, his huge wealth, too. Childless Karel ´s aunt, Marie Kristýna, (the empress Marie Terezie ´s favourite daughter), who used to be a lady governor of the Netherlands, adopted general archduke Karel and she meant him to be her inheritor. That way, since 1823, he had gained rich Těšín duchy.

With his wife, Henrietta Nasavrsko-Weiburská, general Karel had 6 children who all lived to see the maturity, the youngest of them, Vilém František Karel, (born in 1827), was also a general and a great master of the German Knights Order (in 1863 - 1894). The last Habsburg great master was Karel ´s grandson - archduke Evžen Habsburský -also an active commissioned officer who obtained the grade of a Field - Marshall (in 1894 - 1923).

* Karel ´s line - 7 children - the youngest Vilém, grandson Evžen.


LAST MODIFY: Ladislav Hollý (archívní záznam) org. 56, 11.07.2004 v 19:30 hodin



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