Tired of Prague? Did you come to see interesting places, not dark clubs and strip bars? I am starting a series of tips for tourists who visit Prague for several days and wish to explore interesting places within a reasonable distance. This time: one of the most famous Czech castles – the Konopiste Castle.
It is just forty minutes by comfortable trains from Prague’s main station. One-way “group ticket” (even two people are group) is CZK 102. You need to ask for “Benesov u Prahy”. The castle is just under two kilometres from the train station in Benesov – follow the yellow trail.
Konopiste is a former fortress the purpose of which was to guard Benesov. Its original style resembled that of French “castels”. It was rebuilt by several owners throughout history. The most famous personality associated with the castle is Archduke Franz Ferdinand d’Este, successor to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who was assassinated in 1914. Today, the interiors of the castle are decorated with hundreds of hunting trophies (as hunting was the Archduke’s hobby).
Visitors are offered several versions of the tour, depending on which part of the castle they want to see the most. They can make qualified decisions based on photos displayed at the entrance. Certain versions of the tour feature many “hunting rooms” which animal lovers might not enjoy very much – it can be really disturbing… From what I heard in person, the guides speak English.
There are two restaurants near the castle. I would NOT recommend them, however. One of them looks like a pre-1989 skiing lodge dining room (high prices for ordinary food) and one of them is a pub-like establishment that is good for a quick beer only.