Last Rosenberg: Peter Wok von Rosenberg

Peter Wok von Rosenberg, life-size portrait Peter Wok von Rosenberg was born on the 1st of October 1539 to Anna von Rosenberg, neé von Rogendorf and Jošt III von Rosenberg. When his father died in 1539, Peter V von Rosenberg took over the administration of the Rosenberg dominion and the guardianship of Jošt´s descendants. In accordance with his decree, Ann´s children were taken away from their mother and thus Peter Wok spent his childhood with his aunt Ann von Rosenberg of Hradec at the castle of Jindřichův Hradec. After the death of Peter V in 1545, Ann resumed the upbringing of her children and returned to Český Krumlov. Peter Wok´s opinions were formed under the influence of Lutheran spirit brought to Bohemia by the first wife of his elder brother Wilhelm von Rosenberg, Katherine of Brunschwig which led to Peter abandoning the Catholic faith. He acquired his first political experience at the court of a future Czech king, Maxmilian von Habsburg. On the invitation of William of Orange he made a chivalrous ride to the Netherlands and England at the end of the year 1562 and he was received there by Queen Elizabeth I. This study journey influenced the process of political and religious maturation of Peter Wok in a vital way. For his place of residence he chose the castle of Bechyně which he had rebuilt in Renaissance style according to an Italian pattern. In the reconstruction works at the castle the Italian builder Baldassare Maggi of Arogn and painters Gabriel de Blonde and Bartoloměj Beránek - Jelínek participated, both also working for Wilhelm von Rosenberg´s brother. In February 1580 Peter Wok married Katherine of Ludanice whose emotional and mental health were rather undermined, because as an orphan she had to look after the disputes over the family heritage.

Coat-of-arms of Peter Wok von Rosenberg Peter Wok assumed the reigns of government only after the death of his elder brother Wilhelm in 1592. As his marriage to Katherine of Ludanice did not bring him any descendant, and the debts of the aristocratic family were not insignificant, plus the pressure of his creditors became stronger, the ruler was forced to solve the financial affairs of his family fundamentally. In 1596 the last Rosenberg sold some of the marginal mansions like Bechyně or Stráž. One year later he handed over the mansion and castle of Rosenberg to his nephew Jan Zrinský of Seryn - and after his death, also Třeboň and Vyšší Brod because he did not want the traditional family estates to fall into a stranger´s hands. Although Peter Wok accepted the idea of handing over the family residence only with difficulty, finally, on the 24th of October 1601, he consented to the approval of the definitive agreement on the sale of the mansion of Český Krumlov to emperor Rudolf II von Habsburg. The last Rosenberg left Český Krumlov after the death of his wife Katherine of Ludanice in 1602. His new residential place was the castle of Třeboň where he spent the rest of his life.

Peter Wok von Rosenberg, life-size portrait, Charles Louis Philippot, 19th century Unlike his brother Wilhelm, Peter Wok did not take care of his political career much but he developed his passion for collecting through his whole life. He established an extensive Rosenberg library, the administration of which was taken care of by the librarian and archivist Václav Březan. The last diplomatic activity of Peter Wok was the solution of difficult situation in 1611 when the troops of the Passau Bishop invaded Bohemia and seized Český Krumlov where they camped which rather devastaded the surrounding area.

Peter Wok was forced to buy the troops out. Peter Wok von Rosenberg died on the 6th of November 1611 at the castle of Třeboň and his corpse was placed in the Rosenberg vault in Monastery in Vyšší Brod.


Peter Wok von Rosenberg, portrait by Diadoch Bartoloměj Paprocký, 1602 Portrait of Petr Vok from Rozmberk at age of 13 years. Collection fund of the State chateau and castle Český Krumlov.