Berka of Dubá

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Coat of arms of the Berka von Duba and Leipa

The aristocratic family Berka von Dubá and Lipa ( Birch von Dauba and Leipa , also Berken von der Duba ; Czech : Berkové z Dubé ) is an important ancient noble family in Bohemia and Moravia , a branch of the Lords of Dauba , related to the Lords Krinecky of Ronow, whose origin is lost in the legends of Northern Bohemia and Saxony .

Legend of the origin of the name

One of the ancestors of the family Howora was hunter master of Duke Jaromir of Bohemia. Once he lost his entourage on a hunt and fell into the hands of the Wrschowetze , who operated the robber trade. The Duke and his servant were already being tied naked to an oak tree in order to shoot them with arrows, when the Howora asked the enemy leader as a mercy to be allowed to blow his body three times on the horn. But these tones showed the scattered retinue not only the place where their master was staying, but also that he was in danger; it hurried over and so both were saved from certain death. Out of gratitude, the duke is said to have showered his loyal servant with rewards and given him the nickname "Duba" (from Slavic : oak ), which Friedrich Berke accepted because of the relationship when he built Castle Eiche or Duba in 1440.

The Benedictine monastery, which Duke Jaromir built on the spot where this incident occurred, existed until the time of King Wenceslaus , when it was destroyed. The Duba, however, were owners of the Hohnstein-Wildenstein estate in Saxon Switzerland for a long time.


Hohnstein Castle

The Berka are a line of the first noble family of the Ronowice (Czech Ronovci or Hronovici) mentioned in the history of Bohemia , which became extinct before the 14th century in the name bearer tribe and of which a Smil 1180 is first detectable. In 1235 Peter Berka was Supreme Master of the Lords of the Templar Order in Bohemia. The family died out in 1706 with Franz Anton Hovora Graf Berka von Duba and Lipa, who later became Deutsch-Gabel, Reichenberg ( Liberec ), Rosic, Dasic, and Nemislovic, imperial councilor, colonel-land marshal and raised to the bohemian count Governor in the Kingdom of Bohemia.

A Hynek (1249–1306), who is mentioned in the list of burgraves of Prague at the beginning of the 14th century, is considered the progenitor of the verifiable family of Berka von Dubá .

The Berka had 1,353 Hohnstein and acquired later in North Bohemia and the then part of Bohemia still today Saxon Switzerland with the rule Hohnstein and the rule of Wildenstein (Saxony) extensive manors . The original family branched out into the Schwarzberger (Šopkové, Červenohorští) and Adršpachové ( Adršpachové ) lines. Their property included Hauska ( Houska Castle ), Weißwasser ( Bělá pod Bezdězem ), Bösig ( Bezděz ), Lämberg ( Lemberk ), Dauba ( Dubá ), Reichstadt ( Zákupy ), Mühlstein ( Milštejn ), Tollenstein ( Tolštejn Castle ), Kokorin ( Kokořín Castle ), Chicken Water ( Kuřívody ), Perstein ( Starý Berštejn ) and other lands. In the 15th century, the Berka lost most of their Saxon property, which was gradually added to the Margraviate of Meissen by the Wettins after the Berka had repeatedly become active as robber barons. Above all, the rock castles of Saxon Switzerland such as Wildenstein or Neurathen were lost to the Berka until 1451. The castles were besieged and destroyed.

After the Battle of White Mountain , part of the property was confiscated. However, most of the family remained loyal to the emperor during the recatholicization . One of the branches was raised to the rank of imperial count in 1637 . This Bohemian line died out in 1706 with the death of the imperial councilor, colonel-land marshal and governor in the Kingdom of Bohemia, Franz Anton Hovora, Count Berka von Duba and Lipa . Berka descendants also died out in Sweden and Saxony in the 19th century .

coat of arms

Coat of arms of the Berka von Dubá in Siebmacher's book of arms , 1605

The coat of arms of the birches (Berka) von der Dub (a): two criss-cross, dry cut, branched tree branches has been preserved on a seal of the Hinko Berka von der Duba , which he attached to a document in 1279. and was handed down with it.



  • Rudolf Johann von Meraviglia-Crivelli : Siebmacher's book of arms. Volume IV, 9th department, Nuremberg 1886 / The Bohemian nobility. Reprographic reprint . Bauer & Raspe, Neustadt an der Aisch 1979, vol. 30 The coats of arms of the Bohemian nobility , ISBN 3-87947-030-8 , p. 54 Berka von Duba and Lipa, coat of arms panel 39 (coat of arms: Two drought cut in gold. Above and tree trunks with three branches at the bottom)
  • Procházka novel : Genealogical handbook of extinct Bohemian noble families. Degener & Co, Neustadt an der Aisch 1973, ISBN 3 7686 5002 2 , there: Berka von Dub (a) and Leipa, pp. 15, 29 f., 38, 63, 72 f., 106 f., 123, 142 , 144, 155, 164, 185 f., 202 f., 210 f., 261, 249, 251, 279 f., 285, 292, 297, 323 f., 339, 348, 361, 366 f.
  • Procházka novel : supplementary volume. Genealogical handbook of extinct Bohemian gentry family, R. Oldenbourg Verlag , Munich 1990, there: Berka von Dub (a) and Leipa, pp. 11 f., 18, 64, 70-71, 73, 81, 99 f., 102, 139 f., 143, 146 f., 153.
  • Hermann Knothe : The Berka from the Duba to Hohnstein, Wildenstein, Tollenstein and their relationships with the Meissnian princes. In: New Archive for Saxon History Volume 2, Dresden 1881, pp. 193-236 ( digitized version ).


  1. Alfred Meiche (Ed.): The castles and prehistoric dwellings of Saxon Switzerland (= Yearbook of the Mountain Association for Saxon Switzerland 4, ZDB -ID 554100-1 ). Baensch, Dresden 1906.
  2. Manfred Schober (ed.): Sages of Saxon Switzerland. Heimatmuseum, Sebnitz 1983.

Web links

Commons : Berkové z Dubé family  - collection of images, videos and audio files