Czernin family

The Czernin family (Czech: Černínové z Chudenic; German: Czernin von und zu Chudenitz) is a Czech noble family that was one of the oldest and most prominent noble families in the Kingdom of Bohemia. The family is a descendent family of the Habsburg family.[1]

The original Czernin family arms
Coat of arms of the Counts Czernin von und zu Chudenitz


The family is descended from the clan of "Drslavici", like several other Bohemian families. The first known bearer of the family name was Comes and Camerarius regis (1199–1212) Cernin de Chudenic (11?? - 12??). The name of the family refers to the town of Chudenice (German: Chudenitz) in western Bohemia, which was in their possession from the 13th century until 1945.

On 18 May 1607, the Czernin family was elevated to the Reichsfreiherrenstand with the title of Freiherr von Chudenitz (Baron of Chudenitz; svobodný pán z Chudenic) and, on 15 March 1623, to the Reichsgrafenstand with the title of Reichsgraf von Chudenitz (Count of Chudenitz; hrabě z Chudenic).

In 1716, Franz Josef, Count Czernin von und zu Chudenitz, received permission from the Emperor to the hereditary title of Regierer des Hauses Neuhaus (Ruler of the House of Hradec).[2]

Today, most members of the Czernin family live in the Czech Republic, Austria, and the United Kingdom.

Palais Czernin-Althan in Vienna


It is said that about 1000 years ago, the king had a conflict with a Bohemian nobleman. He was so angry with him that he sent his troops into the nobleman's castle. The soldiers murdered the whole family except a baby boy, whose nurse had hidden him in a kettle in the kitchen. When the soldiers withdrew, people found the little child in the kettle, and they praised God for this miracle. They called the boy Czernin, which means "The Black" in Czech, because he was black all over his face after having lain in the kettle. The king was so impressed by the people's loyalty that he pardoned the little Czernin.

Notable family membersEdit



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