Konopiště Castle (25 km)
Konopiště Castle (www.zamek-konopiste.cz)
The Konopiště Castle was originally founded as a gothic fortress guarding a nearby town of Benešov. Being founded at the end of the 13th century by Tobias of Benešov, it was built at the beginning of the 14th century, following the model of French castles called "castels". The first touch to a medieval structure of the castle was made in the 15th century by Jiří (George) of Šternberk and was followed by Hodějovský family in the 17th century, who converted the castle into a renaissance mansion. However, the most significant alteration took place in the 18th when members of the Vrtba family rebuilt the castle into a baroque residence. The utterly most important and famous owner of the Konopište Castle was the archduke Fratišek (Franz) Ferdinand d'Este, a successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne whose assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 became a pretext of the World War I. This man bought the Konopište domain in 1887 from the Lobkowitzs family and converted it into a magnificent seat of a Heir. The Chambers were richly decorated with the collections inherited from the Modena's archdukes of d'Este and numerous hunting trophies hanging on the walls as silent witnesses of Franz Ferdinand's hunting passion. After visiting the interiors of the castle, a close baroque Rose Garden with a Greenhouse provides visitors of a serene place to stroll and absorb the whole experience of their visit of the Konopište Castle.