Karl von Zinzendorf

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Karl von Zinzendorf (1739–1813)

Count Karl Johann Christian von Zinzendorf (born January 5, 1739 in Dresden , † January 5, 1813 in Vienna ) was an Austrian statesman .


Karl von Zinzendorf was the seventh son of the Electorate Chamberlain Friedrich Christian von Zinzendorf and Pottendorf . He came from his second marriage to Countess Christiane Sophie von Callenberg and grew up in a strictly religious Protestant family .

After his father's death in 1758, he enrolled at the University of Jena to study law. In the same year Zinzendorf joined the German Society in Jena . In 1759 he got a job as a court and judiciary councilor. The following year he traveled to his half-brother Ludwig von Zinzendorf in Vienna and decided to stay in Austria permanently.

In 1762 he was appointed kk Kommerzienrat and the following year kk chamberlain . After Zinzendorf was appointed chamber director of the Lower Austrian Commercial Consess on November 29, 1763, he joined the Roman Catholic Church on March 14, 1764 . On his business trip, which took him to Tyrol, Italy, France and Switzerland between 1764 and 1765, Zinzendorf made contacts with Voltaire , Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Albrecht von Haller and became an honorary member of the Economic Society in Bern. In 1765 Zinzendorf was accepted into the Austrian Teutonic Order and in 1770 he received the knighthood.

After completing further commercial trips, he joined the court arithmetic chamber as a councilor in 1770 . In 1773 Zinzendorf took over the Möttling and Tschernembl monks . On behalf of the Court Commerce Council, he traveled to Galicia , Poland , Russia , Sweden , Denmark and German countries. After the dissolution of the Court Commerce Council, he was sworn in as governor of Trieste in 1776 . On February 7, 1782, Joseph II appointed him president of the New Court Computing Chamber and on April 26, 1784, chairman of the commission for the lifting of robots .

Zinzendorf was provincial commander of the Teutonic Order in Friesach in Carinthia, Groß Sonntag in Styria and from 1787 of Laibach as well as hereditary land hunter of Lower Austria. In 1791 he was appointed privy councilor . With the abolition of the court arithmetic chamber by Emperor Franz II , Zinzendorf was appointed Minister of State for domestic affairs in 1792, when he was a member of the State Council with voting rights. In 1793 he was appointed head of the state accounting department.

In 1800 Zinzendorf was appointed governor, and later became provincial commander of the Ordensballei Austria. When the Council of State was transformed into a conference, he lost his seat and instead concentrated more on his work for the Order. As Land Marshal, Zinzendorf presided over the estates of Lower Austria.

In 1802 he was appointed to the State Conference as Minister for Domestic Business and in 1808 as Director of State and Conference Minister. As part of the reform of the Privy Council of State, Zinzendorf submitted his resignation on December 7, 1809. Zinzendorf was considered an opponent of a mercantilist economic policy and advocated the idea of free trade .

After his death he found his final resting place in the family crypt of the Zinzendorf in Karlstetten .

He was a half-brother of Ludwig von Zinzendorf , brother of Friedrich August von Zinzendorf and nephew of Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf and great-nephew of Franz Ludwig von Zinzendorf . Heir was his great-nephew Heinrich August Graf von Baudissin († 1834), who took over the Lower Austrian dominions of Karlstetten , Doppel and Wasserburg and took on the name Baudissin-Zinzendorf-Pottendorf.


Zinzendorf's most important legacy are his extremely extensive, meticulously kept diaries, which he wrote in French. He led her from the age of thirteen until his death; they comprise a total of 56 closely written volumes. The diaries are among the most important sources on Austrian history as well as on Viennese cultural history and contain numerous entries on Haydn , Mozart , Salieri and Beethoven . The originals are now in the Austrian State Archives . In addition, Zinzendorf wrote an autobiography, which he completed in 1803, and a three-volume manuscript on the family history of the Knights of Zinzendorf.


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