Konopiště is a château (castle) located about 50 km southeast of Prague, outside the city of Benešov. It has become famous as the last residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir of the Austro-Hungarian throne, whose assassination in Sarajevo triggered off World War I. The bullet that killed him, fired by Gavrilo Princip from Black Hand, is now an exhibit at the castle's museum.
The castle was initially constructed as a Gothic fortification during the 13th century and was later transformed in a Baroque style. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria bought Konopiště in 1887, with his inheritance from the last reigning Duke of Modena, and rebuilt it into a luxurious residence, which he preferred to his official residence in Vienna. He invited William II, German Emperor to see his roses early in June, 1914; insofar as they discussed politics, they discussed Romania, but conspiracy theories about their planning an attack on Serbia or a division of the Austro-Hungarian Empire arose at the time and since. Since 1921, the castle has been a property of the Czechoslovakia.
Konopiště castle is now open to the public. Visitors can observe the residential rooms of Franz Ferdinand, a large collection of antlers (Franz Ferdinand was an enthusiastic hunter), an armory with medieval weapons, a shooting hall with moving targets and a garden with Italian Renaissance statues and greenhouses. It is a popular place for weddings.
Narodni pamatkovy ustav
sprava statniho zamku KONOPISTE
256 01 Benesov
Tel: + 420 317 721 366
Fax: + 420 317 724 271
Official website of Konopiště