Konopiste Castle - Franz Ferdinand d´Este´s Residence
Art Collections & Armoury & Private Family Rooms & Sallons & Collection of St. George
Order Tour Code: C SE1
This castle was the last residence of the
archduke Franz Ferdinand d´Este, who was
assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914 along with his
Czech wife, the event that started World War I.
It houses valuable art collections and the third
largest armoury in Europe. A viewing of the
private rooms of Franz Ferdinand´s family is a
highlight and must be booked in advance. It is
closed in winter.
It is possible to add a 1-2hour
supplement to the trip by visiting more than one
Originally the 13th century castle was the last seat of the archduke Franz Ferdinand killed in Sarajevo in 1914 with his Czech wife Sophia Chotek, the assassination started World War I.
It houses valuable art collections and the 3rd largest European armoury.
A viewing of the private rooms of Franz Ferdinand´s family is a highlight and must be booked in advance.
In the 20th century Konopiste castle won reknown in the world as the seat of the successor to the Austrian imperial throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand d´Este and as a place connected with the end of the Austrian empire.
Franz Ferdinand d´Este
While Franz Ferdinand was still somewhere on the Asian continent his grandiose plan regarding the converting of by now considerably delapidated Konopiste castle with its environs into a dignified and representative seat provided with all comforts began to be realized for the presumed future successor to the imperial throne.The archduke purchased the agricultural land in the environs for the purpose of increasing the area of the natural landscape park which had been laid out and which was connected up with the old core of the chateau garden. As a whole the park covered an area of 225 hectares.
He intended to make his next wife Zofie (Sophia) Chotek, though he knew that the dynastic principles of the Hapsburg would never allow Countess Chotek to take up a position with the full rights of the emperor´s consort at the sovereign´s court. His displeasure from the slights - both manifested and anticipated - against Zofie Chotek led Franz Ferdinand to decide to make Konopiste a quiet, comfortable and simultaneously appropriately representative background for his family life, a place which would be out of reach of the intrifues and slanderous comments of his Hapsburg relatives and the rest of the gentry at the court in Vienna. Franz Ferdinand had to sign the oath to renounce all rights of succession for his own descendants three days before his marriage.
The marriage took place on 1 July, 1900, at Zakupy chateau in North Bohemia and even though it was by no means an ostentatious affair it was a human triumph of the newly-weds. On the day of the wedding the emperor granted Countess Chotek the title of Princess of Hohenberg.
The archduke Franz Ferdinand was able to influence events at his beloved Konopiste to a considerably greater extent than the decisions of governmental functionaties in Vienna. he had most of the chateau interiors furnished and decorated with his museum collections. Their base was foormed by articles which he had already inherited in compact groups from the Este and Obizzi families, in particular arms, paintings, wall carepts and garden sculptures.
Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia became the victims of an assassination carried out by Serbian terrorist on 28th of June in 1914. The murdered couple was transported to Vienna for a mourning ceremony and from there to Artstetten near Melk Monastery where they were buried in the chateau chapel (Austria).
The castle is closed in winter (from November till March) and on Mondays.
A combination with Ferdinand brewery , Cesky Sternberk castle, Karlstejn castle, Hluboka castle, Cesky Krumlov town and castle, or Budvar brewery is available.
4 HOUR ROUND TRIP
Originally a Gothic castle, built in 1300 after the model of French fortresses.
In 1887 the castle became the seat of the heir to the throne , Franz Ferdinand , who was assasinated together with his Czech wife Sophia Chotek in 1914 in Sarajevo (it started WWI) .
Franz Ferdinand engaged J. Mocker to convert the castle into an opulent residence filled with rich furniture , works of art and lavish decorations.
The famous armoury including an extensive collection of historical weapons and armour are one of the largest collection of this type in Europe.
The castle is decorated with 3000 trophies hunted by F. Ferdinand (just 1% of the trophies hunted by him within his short life).
At the present there are open to the public :
The 1st tour: Chambers of southern wing.
Representative historical interiors.
Represantative and guest rooms with Hunting corridor.
There are allowed max. 25 persons in the group, seeing is possible only with the guide.
Shooting range is included that is a unique private noble range with automatic targets from 1900.
The 2nd tour: Chambers of northern wing.
Interiors containing objects collected by the Crown Prince
Franz Ferdinand d´Este, his armoury, library and chapel.
It is the oldiest part of the castle called Crownprince, armoury, chapel, over 100 years old hydraulic lift, library.
There are max. 25 persons allowed in the group, seeing is possible only with the guide.
Museum of St.Georges is included that is a topic private collection of Franz Ferdinand with a motive of st. George.
The 3rd tour: Private apartments of Frantisek Ferdinand's family.
The private rooms of Franz Ferdinand d´Este´s family are not only the museum, the apartments are left almost the same since 1921 when the children of Franz Ferdinand and Sophia Chotek had to leave the castle – it must be booked ahead and maximum number of people in the touristic group can be 8.
Rose garden and Hot-houses where you can see in summer warmlike and tropical flowers.