Konopiste Castle – Home of Archduke Ferdinand – July 20, 2013

On June 14-15, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany visited the Archduke Franz Ferdinand at his home about 20 miles south of Prague. The Archduke was the heir to the Habsburg throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire.  The Kaiser came to discuss the future of Europe, but to also see the Archduke’s rose garden.  Fate was about to overcome both men.  Two weeks later, on June 28, the Archduke and his wife Sophia would be dead from an assassin’s bullets in Sarajevo, Bosnia.  And in just over six weeks, the Kaiser would send his armies into Belgium. The ensuing world war would be the most horrific conflict then known in human history.

As I was at Konopiste Castle almost exactly 99 years after the Kaiser's visit, I wandered the grounds and caught glimpses of the castle as they might have.

As I was there almost exactly ninty-nine years after the Kaiser’s visit, I wandered the grounds and caught glimpses of the castle as they might have during an afternoon stroll.

Photography was not allowed in the castle, but I can tell you it looked as though the family was just away for the day.

Photography was not allowed inside, but everything was perfectly preserved and looked as though the family had just left the day before.

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About Jeff Lowdermilk

I have traveled to Europe several times over the last few years to follow my grandfather's path as detailed in his World War I diary. My grandfather was an American Infantryman who survived the war. This has been an adventurous journey of self-exploration. The friends I have made along the way and experiences gained have greatly enriched my life