Thursday, September 06, 2007

Konopiste Castle

I received several recommendations from Czech people to go and visit Konopiste Castle that when the possibility for a day trip came up, it was a good choice. Matt and Tori were in town for several days so we headed out to see the castle and hoped to fit in a brewery tour as well. Unfortunately this particular brewery only caters to early risers because the tours end by 12pm on a weekend. Who drinks beer before noon anyway?? Never mind that question is answered every time I walk by a pub on my way to work.

Konopiste is located about an hour away from Prague in Benesov. The castle is famous because it was the residence of Franz Ferdinand (no not the band). I read up on it a bit before going there and learned that Franz was quite the avid hunter and by avid I mean the man shot anything with a heartbeat and 4 legs, not to mention all of the birds. The castle is situated in a really nice forest complete with a pond and lots of walking trails around.

We were all eager to do the tour so we could see a small portion of the 300,000 plus animals he killed neatly hung around the castle for decoration. Unfortunately there was not a single tour being given in English, so we joined a Czech one because that is the only way to get into the castle. I was quite surprised (and a bit ticked off) by that considering that it’s a weekend and there are tones of English speaking tourists in Prague which is in pretty close proximity. So the language part took a bit away from the tour because she would stop in certain rooms and the tour guide would talk about this and that. The interesting part was all of the antlers hung on the wall in the main hallway, and the huge armory collection in several rooms. I’ve never seen so many guns in one space in my life. Beside each set of antlers or other stuffed creature was an inscription of when and where the animal was killed. This is how he kept the long log going as well.

Overall it was definitely worth the trip. I’d like to go back and walk around some of the trails because the landscape around there is beautiful.


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