Founded around 1280 by Prague Bishop Tobias as a Gothic fortification with a rectangular plan and round towers protruding from the corners, making the most effective defence possible.
After extinction Benešovic Konopiště passed in 1327 to 275 years in the hands of the Šternberg. After 1725 Konopiště was transformed in a Baroque style chateau.
In 1887 Konopiště was bought by Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who later became heir to the Austrian throne. It was his assassination in 1914 in Sarajevo that triggered off World War I. To escape the Habsburg court´s harsh disapproval of his wife, Ferdinand spent much of his time at Konopiště.
He amassed arms, armour and Meissen porcelain, all on display in the fine furnished interiors. However, the abiding memory of the castle is of the hundreds of stags´ heads lining the walls.
During the World War II was Konopiště located in the headquarters of the SS. On the 19th of April 1945 were nine of the American airmen murdered by SS troops. One pilot was rescued by members of the Czech underground resistance movement. Every year is organized the commemoration ceremony here.
The event also commemorated the death of seven airmen who were killed in a nearby village when their plane was shot down. Konopiště Castle was used many times as a film set for American movies, for example The Illusionist with Edward Norton and Jessica Biel in 2006.
The castle is located 25 miles (40 km)southeast of Prague, open April - October.
Feel free to CONTACT GEORGE in order to arrange your transportation in the best conditions.