38 Castles and chateaux
39
Konopi%t!
Reason to visit
In the romanticizing reconstruction
of the palatial residence of the heir to the
Austrian throne Franz Ferdinand d’Este,
nothing was left to chance. The chateau
was equipped with all the creature
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a lift, central heating and electricity
generated by its own hydroelectric plant.
The archduke lived there happily
with his family, at arm’s length from
the outside world. The idyll ended
with his assassination in Sarajevo
in 1914, where he died along with
his beloved wife.
Of historical interest
In Czech terms, it is an unusual
castle. Built in the late 13th century
on the model of French castle fortresses,
it was protected by seven massive towers,
which formed a separate fortress,
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drawbridges. Even though it was
considered one of the strongest
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by Swedish troops during the Thirty
Years’ War.
Franz Ferdinand d’Este was an avid
hunter and a passionate art collector.
He amassed everything he could with
the motif of St. George – pipes, coins,
weapons, swords, vessels, banners,
tombstones, sculptures, paintings.
He wanted to outdo the king
of England, who had the same hobby
and to whom he liked to boast about
his collection. His assassination
defeated this aim.
A popular attraction with children
– bears – have a long tradition at the
chateau. They have reportedly been
kept here since the 18th century.
IV–IX Tuesday–Sunday,
X, XI weekends and public holidays.
Konopi%t! 1, 256 01 Bene%ov
Kost
Reason to visit
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of forests and sandstone rocks, which
because of its charm is rightly called
Bohemian Paradise. It stands on a low
promontory above ponds whose dams
were ruptured in times of danger,
turning the castle it into a water fortress.
In times when war threatened, the lord
of the castle retreated with his family
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Tower.
Of historical interest
At the time of the religious wars
of the 15th century, the castle presented
a problem for the invincible Hussite
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not conquer the castle because its walls
were as hard as bone (kost in Czech),
and he withdrew disappointed. The truth
is a bit different: The castle simply was
overlooked by his troops because, unlike
other medieval palaces, it does not stand
atop a hill, but in the valley.
Tip: A 10-kilometre route leads
from below Kost Castle through
the picturesque Plakánek valley
to Humprecht Castle near Sobotka.
The exhibition presents the Kinsk(
family in the Czech lands, to whom
the well-run castle still belongs. In the
cellar you can visit a medieval torture
chamber with illustrative examples
of “interrogation methods” which
reliably brought about a confession.
VII, VIII daily,
IV–VI, IX, X Tuesday–Sunday.
Children can draw a picture
of the castle during a visit and hand
it in at the cashier. If the owner
of the castle likes the picture,
the child will receive
a diploma and the picture will be
displayed in a place of honour
in the castle and on its website.
Podkost 1–8
507 45 Mlad!jov v &echách
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