Konopiště
Chateau
Konopiště Chateau was founded in the
late 13th century as a Gothic fortress.
Through many modifications over the
centuries, it was gradually rebuilt into
a romantic chateau, which in 1887
was bought by the heir to the Austro-
Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz
Ferdinand d’Este. His enthusiasm for
technical progress brought the chateau
all the modern comforts of the time –
running water, electricity, a hydraulic
lift and flushing toilets. After his
marriage to Countess Sophie Chotek,
the couple settled here. Their romantic
love story, along with the Belle Époque,
ended in the summer of 1914 in Sarajevo
with an assassin’s bullet and the start
of the First World War.
Tour circuits will take you into the living
areas, guest quarters, dining room and
armoury, allowing you for a while
to imagine life at the chateau before
the First World War.
Reason to visit
Franz Ferdinand d’Este was an avid
art collector, and with his assembly
of woodcarvings, paintings and a variety
of other artistic artefacts relating to the
cult of St. George, he wanted to outdo
King Edward VII himself, who had
the same collecting passion. You can
see the surviving items from the
collection at the Museum of St. George.
Make sure not to miss a tour of the
Rose Garden with greenhouses,
which invite you to relax. They grow
subtropical and tropical plants here
and also the yellow rose variety
“Marshal”, which was a great favourite
of Countess Sophie.
GPS: 49°46‘58.675“N, 14°39‘32.814“E
44 km; 30minutes.
Direct connections from the Main
Railway Station to Benešov leave
at least every hour; journey time
40minutes. From there, walk (about
2.5 km) or travel by bus to the chateau.
Direct links from the Florenc
Bus Station to Benešov every hour -
journey time 45 minutes. From there,
walk to the castle, go two bus stops
to Benešov–Konopiště, or take the
eco-train from the Czech Railways
station.
IV–IX (except Monday),
around 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Karlštejn
Castle
Karlštejn holds an exceptional position
among Czech castles. It was founded
in 1348 by Bohemian King and Holy
Roman Emperor Charles IV as a place
for safekeeping the royal treasures,
collections of holy relics and the Czech
Crown Jewels. He had them stored
under the gilded dome of the Chapel
of the Holy Cross. Charles IV personally
oversaw the completion of the imperial
residence and the decoration
of the interiors, even conferring about
it with his stargazers.
The most famous of Czech royal castles,
concealed on three sides by high wooded
slopes, it has retained its magical
atmosphere to the present day. The castle
is part of the Burgenstrasse – Castle Trail
connecting more than 90 castles between
Prague and Mannheim, Germany.
Reason to visit
The Chapel of the Holy Cross – the place
where the crown jewels were stored
– is located in the soaring Great Tower.
The walls are covered with semiprecious
stones and 129 rare panel paintings
by Master Theodoric. The gilded dome
decorated with Venetian glass lentoids
creates the perfect illusion of a starry
sky and makes a visit to this sacred place
a truly ethereal experience.
Visit the castle during the great
traditional celebration of the wine
harvest festival, which is held
on the last weekend of September.
The wine festivities are opened each
year with the arrival of Charles IV
and the empress.
GPS: 49°55‘58.711“N, 14°11‘5.975“E
37 km; 50minutes.
Direct connections from the Main
Railway Station at least every hour;
journey time 40minutes. From there
it is a 2-kmwalk to the castle.
III–X (daily except Monday),
around 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.,
VII and VIII (daily) 9 a.m.– 6:30 p.m.
8 Trips from Prague
9
1,2-3,4-5,6-7,8-9 12-13,14-15,16-17,18-19,20-21,22-23,24-25,26-27,28