It is a castle from your romantic dreams. It was built originally as a medieval fortress guarding one of the main business roads. It was completely rebuilt by Archduke Franz Ferdinand d'Este as his family residence in 19th century. It has one of the richest interiors with a vast number of the historical collections of any kind. It is situated 40 kilometers from Prague and it is one of the most visited castles in the country.
If you are interested in history and want to know something about the Habsburg period of the Czech Kingdom, you should visit Konopiste Castle. Its history starts in 18th century when bishop Tobias of Bechyne ordered to build it as a fortress. During centuries it was rebuilt many times. Archduke Franz Ferdinand d'Este, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, bought this castle in 1887 and had it re-modelled into his private residence. He decided to buy the castle far away from the Viennese Imperial court because of the court’s harsh disapproval with his Czech wife countess Sophia Chotek. She was not considered “noble enough” for Franz Ferdinand, since he was the heir to the Austrian throne and she was “only” a countess.
We will visit richly decorated interiors admiring antique furniture, pictures, statues, tapestries, and porcelain collections, one of the most valuable weapon collections in the world and, of course, hunting trophies. Ferdinand was a passionate hunter; he killed more than 300 000 animals during his life. Just a very small portion of them is displayed as hunting trophies here.
One of the castle tours is dedicated to Franz Ferdinand and his family only. You can almost feel that the family has just left for a walk. We will visit Ferdinand’s private rooms, rooms of his wife Sophia Chotek and their children.
You might have seen this castle in the movie The Illusionist with Edward Norton and Jessica Biel.