Konopiště Chateau and the Archduke's Trophies
One of the Czech Republic's loveliest palaces, Konopiště Chateau - just 50 kilometers southeast of Prague - offers a number of good reasons to be included on your travel itinerary. Established in the 13th century and given its current Baroque form in the 18th century, this superb French-style four-winged chateau is famous as the final residence of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand, whose untimely assassination is credited as having started WWI (the bullet that killed him is on display in the chateau's museum).
A consummate (possibly obsessive) hunter, many of the Archduke's more than 300,000 animal trophies can be seen on display here, all carefully catalogued over a 25 year period, along with many original artifacts he once owned, which are spread across his sumptuous residential apartments. Other highlights include a superb collection of ancient weapons and armor, an indoor shooting range complete with moving targets, and a lovely garden with numerous statues and outbuildings.