Konopiste Chateau is well-known as the last residence of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered World War I. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria bought Konopiste in 1887 and rebuilt it into a luxurious residence, suitable for the future emperor. Konopiste Chateau is located in the scenic countryside adorned with forests and a lake. You can also admire colorful peacocks and a bear in the fortification moat.
45 minutes Prague to Konopiste transfer
30 minutes Walk to Konopiste Chateau
1 hour Tour of Konopiste Chateau
1 hour Tour of the gardens on the way to car/van
45 minutes Konopiste to Prague transfer
This is a private tour, so the itinerary can be adjusted as you wish.
Konopiste Chateau was founded in the late 13th century as a Gothic castle inspired by the style of French castles with seven stout, rounded towers and five gates. During the late 19th century, Konopiste came into the hands of the 24-year old Franz Ferdinand d’Este, the oldest nephew of Austrian Emperor Francis Josef I and later heir to the Habsburg throne. He made many changes to the interior and remodeled the chateau so that part resembled a Renaissance residence in North Italian style while another section sported a medieval look. During World War II Konopiste Chateau became a SS headquarters. The state took over in 1945, and now the Central Bohemian Institute for Preservation of Historic Monuments in Prague looks after the chateau.
A hunting enthusiast, the Archduke went on hunting expeditions in South Africa, Egypt, Australia and India, to name a few places. Some 4,500 hunting trophies and 3,200 pairs of deer teeth decorate the chateau. The first tour covers representative rooms as well as official and social rooms. The Rose Room, adorned with a pink ceiling and white stucco, includes 19th century Rococo furniture along with a stunning Czech crystal chandelier. A wedding gift for Franz Ferdinand and Sophie, the Empire style circular table is decorated with gemstones and hails from Venice. In another room three marble Italian cabinets made in Florence during 1680 enthrall with floral and bird motifs.
The second tour shows visitors the oldest part of the castle, and its highlights are the chapel and armory. The 16th century Renaissance vaulting throughout the spaces is magnificent. The chapel’s 19th century vaulted ceiling representing the night sky is painted blue with gold stars. On the neo-Gothic main altar the Virgin Mary and Jesus take center stage, flanked by Saint Hubert and Saint George. The 15th and 16th century paintings and sculptures enchant with vibrant, dynamic colors. The armory is one of the biggest in Central Europe. The 15th and 16th century Renaissance sets of knights’ armor sport holes from sharp heads of spears. Rifles and pistols hail from 16th and 17th century Germany, Italy, France and the Silesia region of what is now the Czech Republic. One piece of armor for a knight is designed for a six to eight-year old child. Rapiers and swords also make appearances in the collection.
The third tour includes 15 rooms of Franz Ferdinand’s private apartments with furniture of various styles, all decorated as they looked when Franz Ferdinand and his family lived there. Three wooden, Nuremberg-style chandeliers adorned with deer antlers decorate a hallway. A 15th century Madonna and Child painting hangs over the archduke’s bed. Many pieces of furniture feature intarsia. Even the bullet that killed Franz Ferdinand’s wife Sophie in Sarajevo is on display. Visitors also see the couple’s death masks. Many framed photos from Franz Ferdinand’s trip around the world and graphic sheets with hunting themes enthrall, too.The Archduke’s game room and shooting range is another attraction along with a museum devoted to Saint George memorabilia that Franz Ferdinand collected.
Admission fees: Route 1 or 2: 220 CZK/ adult; children, students, seniors above 65: 140 CZK / person; Route 3: 320 CZK/ adult; children, students, seniors above 65: 220 CZK / person. The castle is opened for the public from March 30 to November 30 but closed on Mondays. Exceptions: Open on Easter Monday and Czech Independence Day on October 28. Exceptions: Closed on the day after Easter Monday and on October 29. In October and November the chateau is open on weekdays only for reserved groups (more than 10 persons). On Saturdays and Sundays it is open to the public. With the Route 1, 2 and 3 ticket, the shooting range and Museum of St. George is free.
Franz Ferdinand also established the Rose Garden. You can also admire colorful peacocks, deer park and a bear in the fortification moat. Konopiste Chateau is situated in the picturesque countryside where there are forests and a lake with pathways. If you would like to hike around the lake, let us know in the request form below, and we will send you an adjusted itinerary.
|Location||50 km / 40 minute drive south of Prague (direction Austria - Salzburg)|
|Sights to See||Konopiste Chateau|
|Interiors||Konopiste Chateau - Route 1,2 or 3, Konopiste Chateau - Rose garden|
|Included||Driver-guide, car / van, fuel, toll roads, parking fees|
|Excluded||Entrance fees, food and drinks|
|Availability From-To||April to October, (For additional dates, see the tour description.)|
|Departure Time and Location||We will pick you up at the agreed place and time, most likely at the reception of your hotel in Prague. (To be specified in the request form below)|
|Return Location||We will finish the tour anywhere you wish in Prague.|
|Means of Transportation||Walking and/or Driving - Car, Van, Minibus, Bus|
|Required Walking Ability||Medium|
|Language||All tours are in English, but exceptions can be made in advance.|