Trip to Konopiste Castle
People looking to do a half-day organised trip to see a castle will usually go to one of two options. It will either be Karlstejn Castle because of it’s imposing hilltop views and high towers plus the ability to get there and back by train. Or it will be Konopiste Castle because of it’s more recent history, landscaped gardens and the stop at the brewery.
A Brief History of Konopiste Castle
Originally a 13th Century Gothic French-style fortress Konopiste Castle was one of those places that passed through the powerful Catholic allies like the Sternberg and Lobkowicz families until in 1887 it was bought by a then relatively unknown Austrian royal by the name of Franz Ferdinand D’Este. He would soon be known around the world.
Why Visit Konopiste Castle
A 13th Century core with late 19th Century design certainly catches the eye. It has the third largest collection of armour in Europe and the walls are covered in antlers that show Ferdinand’s marksmanship skills. The castle museum collection contains the bullet that killed him. Konopiste Castle also has stunning English landscaped gardens and a beautiful rose garden during the summer. It’s easier to do Konopiste Castle as an organised tour and I’ve put an option below.
Tour Tip: After you’ve explored Konopiste Castle then on your way back to Prague you stop for lunch at the Velkopopovicky Brewery the home of Kozel Beer and 1km from where I live. Personally recommended.
The Royal Connection
On the Sophies Fan post I explained why Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife did not choose to reside in Vienna. Instead they chose Prague and specifically the Konopiste Castle as their place to stay. They set about making it their own home with significant architectural changes both to the building and the gardens.
The assassination of both Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife in Sarajevo on June 28th 1914 triggered the First World War and Konopiste Castle ceased to be a residence. Since 1921 it has belonged to the Czech State and was formally opened to the public in 1971. Read More and Book Places.