The Bizarre story of Baron Franz Von Der Trenck and his missing head

Franz Von Der Trenck 1711-1749Baron Franz Von Der Trenck was a controversial figure in 17th century history in and around Czechia. For his time he was the most educated man who spoke seven foreign language and was an expert in English literature. He wrote poems and he was a great dancer and was quite a ladies man. On the other hand he was an arrogant and brutal fighter/murderer with no mercy who killed his enemies without defeat. He built his wealth from the pillaging of victims from his battles. He was a person you either loved or hate and was very temper mental. He was sentenced to death many times, but managed to get free because of his popularity as a brutal leader that would not retreat from a battle. He was huge man who could kill his enemies with one blow of his sword. He didn’t care about human life and wasn’t afraid of death and put himself in dangerous situations many times. You could call him the bloody Vlad the Impaler in the Czech lands. His brutality was so fierce that he was given a fine by the court and refused to pay it and ended up in prison. Specialized in frontier warfare, guerrilla tactics and his surprise hit-and-run actions. He recruited mostly deadly Croatian mercenaries, experienced fighters from the Austro-Ottoman border. His band of Pandurers soon became infamous for the atrocities they committed on the civilian population. Trenck had overstepped his limits, and above all his brutalities and robberies made him detested throughout Austria and Silesia. A death sentence followed, but the court-martial and its proceedings were thought to not be a fair trial, and the sentence was commuted by the Empress into one of imprisonment. The rest of his life he spent in mild captivity in the fortress of Spielberg (Špilberk in Czech) in Brno, where he died on October 4, 1749. He donated all his wealth the Capuchin monks in Brno in which they built a monastery complex. His body/mummy is on display in a large glass casket at the Capuchin monastery in Brno.
His life was not only controversial but even after death his controversy continues. There is a controversy about his mummy in Brno. His head has definitely been separated from the body. It is legend that the head was displayed to empress Maria Theresa in Vienna to prove his death was real. On the way back to Brno the head was lost. Some think that Trenck’s family stole it and hid it in an unknown place. Another version is that they hid the head in some other monastery in Vienna. Another legend says that some English tourist well know collector of curiosities stole Trenk’s head to his collection straight from the coffin in Brno. And now archeologist think the head of Trenck is smaller than the size of his body. It might be that Trenck’s head was not returned and that it was replaced by someone else’s head. After much scientific research the body is definitely his because of his huge size. After forensic research in the early 80’s it was determined that his head in Brno is genuine, but it had been moved and displayed at other locations. The controversy of Trenck’s head continues to be a mystery to this day.
You can see the mummy of Baron Trenck, Capuchin mummies, and the newly discovered massive crypt in Brno by contacting