Konopiště Castle, founded as a Gothic fortress, was inspired by French fortresses with a symmetrical layout of the towers, several entrances and drawbridges. Thanks to many modifications, it was gradually converted into a romantic chateau with luxuriously furnished interior modified for the everyday life of the aristocracy.
Konopiště in modern history
Konopiště Chateau was chosen by the successor to the Habsburg throne Franz Ferdinand as his seat. His assassination in Sarajevo was a pretext for the start of World War One. World War Two also influenced history at Konopiště, with the SS headquarters being established here.
Franz Ferdinand wanted to trump the King of England
Franz Ferdinand was a passionate hunter and collector. During a tour of the chateau, you can admire his valuable collection of weapons, the so-called Este Armoury, which is one of the largest in Europe. Franz Ferdinand also had an extension built comprising one room to hold more than 1,000 portraits of St. George, with which he allegedly wanted to beat the similar collection owned by the King of England. The Great Trophy Corridor bears testament to Franz Ferdinand’s passion for hunting. The archduke killed almost 300,000 animals during his life. The representative lounges with exceptionally valuable Italian cabinets, the Great Dining Hall with ceiling paintings and the living room of Franz Ferdinand’s family will provide you with an insight into everyday life at the chateau.
In search of a bear and into the Konopiště gardens
When visiting the chateau, you must make sure to have a look around the extensive chateau park with free-roaming pheasants, peacocks and quails. The pleasant aroma of the Rose Gardens and their greenhouses make them the ideal spot to have a rest. You can even plan a picnic on the banks of the nearby fishpond or buy some refreshments in the new Chateau restaurant in the courtyard.