The Thun-Hohenstein or Thun und Hohenstein are a noble Trentino-Tyrolean family title of Counts of the Empire in 1629 after having held important administrative and episcopal positions in the Empire. At this time a branch of the family had moved to Bohemia, embarking on a rapid rise in the shadow of the imperial power of the Habsburgs.
In 1629 he obtained the title count and in 1911 a Bohemian branch, that of Tetschen an der Elbe was elevated to the princely rank. The family is originally from the Val di Non, in Trentino.
The composite surname of Thun und Hohenstein derives essentially from the ancient Germanic influences of the Alpine area. The surname is known since the eleventh century, a period from which it is indicated in various ways, including Thunne, Tunnum, Tonnum, Tuna, Tono and Tunno.
The Thun surname was first formalized in 1407 when Simon von Thun was included in the Tyrolean nobility freshman and he was hooked by Hohenstein from the name of the county that the family obtained in 1628.
The origins of the Thun und Hohenstein family are certainly due to the twelfth century, although a certain local tradition wants their name associated with that of San Vigilio, patron of Trento, already lived in the fourth century, especially for the family bond with their own possessions in the Val di Non.
The first family home was located in Dosso del Castelletto, in the area where the local church of Santa Margherita is currently located, from where the family migrated in the fifteenth century to go to the Thun Castle, designated fiefdom.
Over the centuries and thanks to carefully designed weddings with the area's major owners, the Thun und Hohenstein family managed to accumulate a great fortune also consisting of numerous real estate and properties.
From the fifteenth century the family considerably increased its possessions expanding over the territory. From 1469 some members of the family systematically became "coppieri" of the prince-bishop of Trento and from 1558 obtained this privilege also at the bishopric of Bressanone. In 1604 the family obtained the baronial title from the emperor Rudolf II. Although having formed various lines, until the sixteenth century the family was able to substantially maintain the division of its heritage up to the regency of Sigmund (1537-1597), which at his death he gave the provision that his assets were divided between his three sons.
In 1628 the family obtained the noble title comitale that from 1629 was associated with the fief of Hohenstein. From 1642, with the loss of their possessions, the feudal still remained part of the surname of the Thun und Hohenstein but the interests of the family were concentrated in Bohemia, leaving in the Tyrol another line that continued the family in the native land.
It was the Trentino line that gave the story to Guidobald von Thun und Hohenstein, prince-archbishop of Salzburg, who was named cardinal in the seventeenth century. This easy ascent of the family, further favored by the presence of a local nobility leading the ecclesiastical institutions among the most important in the area of Austria. Always this branch had the honor of counting a prime minister of the imperial Austrian house and Galeazzo von Thun und Hohenstein was Grand Master of the Order of Malta.