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Konopiště

Medieval castle 50km south of Prague (near Benešov)

Originally a medieval castle Konopiště was founded in the manner of the french fortress near Benešov town about 1294 by Prague bishop Tobias of Benešov. During the centuries the castle was owned by many noble families, e.g. Šternberks, Valdštejns and Lobkovitz. In 1887 the castle with the whole domain was bought from Lobkovitz by Franz Ferdinand d´Este, since 1896 the successor to the throne. The archduke had the castle rebuilt and its surroundings transferred into the park. On the site of the former Baroque garden he founded the Rose garden with greenhouses. He put his extensive hunting collections and collections of weapons into the castle.
Franz Ferdinand d´Este was assassinated with his wife Sophia in Sarajevo in June 1914. A month later after the assassination the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph I. declared war on Serbia.
During the World War II. the main headquarters staff of the SS troops was placed in Konopiště. The inner furnishings remained the same to the largest degree, which resembles the time when Franz Ferdinand d´Este inhabited the castle with his family.

For more information click here.

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