"Archduke Franz Ferdinand's chateau" Konopiste by Dabs
Konopiste Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 6 photos
Our 2nd stop on the way back driving from Ceske Budejovice to Prague was Konopiste, the chateau that was home to Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie until their death. If the name sounds familiar it's because his assassination in Sarajevo in 1914 is widely reported to be the catalyst for the start of World War I.
The Archduke chose to live here after he chose to marry beaneath his status, Sophie was a mere countess and not an archduchess. They were allowed to marry on the condition that the marriage would be morganatic which means that his titles and privileges would not pass to his wife and that their descendants would not have succession rights to the throne.
I had not heard of Konopiste until we drove past the brown highway sign that marks a place of interest, when I looked it up in the guidebook, I thought it warranted a stop. I was surprised when we drove down the quiet leafy lane to the chateau when we found the parking lot and it was crammed with tourists and kiosks, horse drawn carriages and a tram to take you to the chateau.
Even if you don't opt for a tour of the interior, you can have a look around the garden for no charge, in late May there wasn't much of interest in the garden except for a male peacock strutting through the garden and a female peacock trying to get as far away from him as possible, alas when she jumped into the tree, he jumped up right after her...
There are three different tours of the chateau, when we arrived later in the afternoon, we just missed Tour 1 in English... more travel advice
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