Konopiste Castle and Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic Photos
PURCHASE GREAT MEMORIES OF YOUR TRIP TO KONOPISTE CASTLE AND CESKY KRUMLOV CASTE AND BAROQUE THEATER- FOR HOME OR OFFICE.
This gallery features photos of Konopiste Castle and Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic.
Located about 45 minutes by car from Prague, this 13th century gothic fortress is worthy of a visit. The castle has been owned by 12 noble families that converted the building into a lavish chateau. The castle interior rooms have been frozen in time to 1887-1914 and is a must see for any history buffs.
Warning: you can not take photographs of the interior and it is strictly enforced. Thus, this gallery features the exterior of the castle. The grounds feature rose gardens, peacocks roaming the gardens, fountains, statues etc.
The last owner was Archduke Ferdinand d'Este was heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire who married Czech Countess Zofie. Since Zofie was not a western European princess, Emperor Franz Josef was displeased and thus Zofie could not be empress and their children could not be in line for the thrown. This family feud resulted in the Archduke, Zofie, their three children -Ernst, Max and Sophie staying at Konopiste, rarely having royal family visit.
Touring the Hunting Corridor and Salons a visitor will quickly realize that the Archduke had a passion for hunting and having his kill mounted on the walls. There are over 300,000 animals killed by the Archduke for sport, with 1180 pairs of antlers mounted on the walls. Visitors can go into their dining rooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, private parlors, all frozen in time.
On Sunday, 28 June 1914, at approximately 10:45 am, Franz Ferdinand and his wife were killed in Sarajevo, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip, 19 at the time, a member of Young Bosnia and one of a group of assassins organized and armed by the Black Hand. The event led to a chain of events that eventually triggered World War I. In their bedroom, the bullet removed from Zofie, her blood stained dress/corset, his blood stained suspenders, and their death masks are on display in glass cases.
Cesky Krumlov is about a three hour car ride south of Prague. The trip can be broken up by visiting Konopiste on the way south. The Vltava river forms and S- curve around the town and castle providing a natural moat. The Castle, cobble stone street Old Town, and cafes make this UNESCO historic sight a must see, especially in the autumn when these images were collected.
The Golden age for Cesky Krumlov was the 16th century when it hosted artists, scientists and alchemists from all over Europe. The castle complex is the largest and most important in Bohemia after the Prague Castle. It consists of forty buildings and constructions spread along one kilometer of the rocky hill. The castle gardens occupy eleven hectares. In addition to the main residence, the complex includes many administrative, economic, artisan, and technical spaces; courtyards, grounds, and both decorative and utility gardens.
The core of the oldest castle of Cesky Krumlov was Hradek, the Little Castle, an early Gothic castle partially maintained under the Renaissance changes, which made this complex unusually picturesque. The fresco paintings from 1590 are also Renaissance, covering the entire surface of the facade of Hradek including the tower, which is also decorated with terra cotta busts of the Planets' gods, human and animal masks. There are five courtyards on different levels of the cascade, each with its own history and beauty. The Upper Castle was constructed by Peter of Rozmberk on a rocky edge in the first half of the 14th century, west of the older Hradek, or Little Castle.
Proceeding to the 5th and highest courtyard near the Baroque theater, one crosses the Covered Bridge that spans the ditch at the western part of the castle in the upper part, and includes covered corridors leading into the garden and theater.
The Baroque castle theater
This theater remained functional with a complete inventory of thirteen scenes, props, technical equipment, machinery,costumes, and many texts of stage plays. Many times renovated, the building was finished in 1766 and contains a wooden mechanism enabling quick scene changes, and is equipped with a system of lifts and trapdoors, machines for effects, and lights. On a recent visit, this photographer was given the opportunity to spin a barrel that makes the sound of a wind storm while my wife ran a cart over a wooden floor making the sound of thunder. Currently, this theater is used on occassion for concerts or plays by candelight.
Summer house Bellarie
Behind the fountains and royal gardens, one encounters a very ornate building Summer house Bellarie. It represents one of the most significant buildings of its kind in Bohemia. Its Rococo appearance comes from 1757, and was created by Andreas Altomonte. Plays and concerts are held in from of Bellarie during the summer months.
The bears at Krumlov Castle have been raised since the 16th Century. The bears living in the moat today are named Katefina, Vok and Maria Theresa. The bear in this gallery was too busy eating to tell me his/her name.
Gothic Parish Church of St. Vitus
The Gothic Parish Church of St. Vitus was founded in 1407 on the site of the older church. The large three-nave space is covered by a net vault, supported by thin stone columns. The main alter was finished in 1683. On the northern wall of the presbytery there is a Gothic stone sanctuary and frescos from the middle of the 15th century. The northern wall of the nave is broken with entrances into the chapels of St. John Nepomuk and the Chapel of the Resurrection
Some useful travel resources are:
Cesky Krumlov Information