Konopiště is a romantic chateau about 30km south-east of Prague. The chateau is surrouned by a large park, gardens and greenhouses including an orangery.
The chateau’s predecessor was a Gothic castle Konopiště with origins most likely at the end of the 13th century when it was a stronghold of the Prague bishop Tobias from Bechyně. In the centuries to come the castle changed its owner several times.
Architectural changes on a larger scale were first carred out at the beginning of the 17th century when a Renaissance palace was built and then a century later the castle was gradually changed into a chateau.
Towards the end of the 19th centrury Konopiště Chateau became the property of Franz Ferdinand d’Este who was a successor to the Austrian throne but never made it as he was assassinated in Sarayevo in 1914. The famous architect J. Mocker converted the chateau into a luxurious residence which corresponded with the social status of its owner.
It was namely Franz Ferdinand d’Este who accumulated a unique collection of prescious fire-arms, weapons and swords, tournament armour of the 15th and 16th centuries, Late Gothic sculptures and paintings, gobelins and collections of china. The chateau’s collections also comprise a large number of sculptures and paintings, hunting trophies, antlers or skins.