News at castles and châteaux: new tours and a look back at a famous family

News at castles and châteaux: new tours and a look back at a famous family

The year 2024 is all about the House of Habsburg at Czechia’s castles and châteaux!

News at castles and châteaux: new tours and a look back at a famous family
This year, some Czech heritage sites will be opening their doors to the In the Footsteps of Noble Houses event, presenting the royal House of Habsburg. They ruled our country until 1918. This means visitors to our castles, châteaux and other heritage sites have plenty to look forward to in the new season, which starts at Easter. Get ready to enjoy some newly opened areas and tour routes!

2024 – Discover the stories of the House of Habsburg

The Habsburgs ruled the Czech lands for around 300 years. During that time, they left their mark on the country that will forever be a part of Czech history. This year, be sure to visit the châteaux of Konopiště, Ploskovice, Zákupy and Velké Losiny, not to mention Bouzov Castle, as that’s where you’ll find the most traces of this famous noble dynasty.

On a tour of the private chambers of Konopiste Castle you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back a hundred years, to the times when the castle was home to the heir to the Habsburg throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his family. The Archduke and his wife Sophie transformed the castle into a sumptuous family residence and laid out an ornamental garden with greenhouses.  From April to November, the castle gives evening tours of the rooms, which have been fitted out with the family’s original furniture and personal belongings!

Konopište Chateau Garden

You’ll see family photos of the children growing up, as well as the dress Sophie wore on her last trip to Sarajevo that ended in the fatal assassination in June 1914. You can clearly see the hole in the dress from the bullet that killed her. The Habsburg year at Konopiště Castle officially begins on May 19, when a special steam train with Franz Ferdinand's saloon car will make its way from Prague to Benešov, and will culminate on 24 August with a celebration called Chateau and Castle Night

Ploskovice, ©Richard Ševčík,

The châteaux of Ploskovice and Zákupy were chosen by Ferdinand I of Austria, a member of the House of Habsburg, as his residences to relax in summer. This led to Zákupy being extensively refurbished in the mid-19th century! Nowadays, the interiors are designed according to period photographs to match those inhabited by the Habsburgs. One rare feature was a new feat of engineering at the time – a passenger lift, which made it easier for the ageing monarch to get around the château, accompanied by various period inventions such as music machines – orchestrions. In July, Ploskovice Château will be reopening the main tour circuit, presenting the renovated piano nobile.

Zákupy Chateau ©NPÚ

And what can expect to see in Velké Losiny and Bouzov? Losiny will be opening up the private apartment of Elisabeth Amalie of Habsburg, the sister of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and while Bouzov offers the chance to see the private chambers of Archduke Eugen of Austria, Grand Master of the Order of the Teutonic Knights from the late 19th and early 20th century.

New attractions well worth checking out!

If you decide to visit Litomyšl Castle in East Bohemia, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Not only is it listed by UNESCO, the special tour also tells you why the castle is a World Heritage Site. Not to mention the fact that they’ll be offering a new tour route, and so from July you’ll have the chance to take a look into the historical kitchen and the castle tower.

Litomyšl Castle

At the castle of Velhartice in Šumava, you can now take a look into the cellars, where the Czech crown jewels were hidden in the Middle Ages. At Lysice Château in South Moravia, work has finished on the renovation of the garden according to the original plans, where a unique technical attraction, the fig tree house with its sliding roof, has also been restored. And there are new attractions in South Bohemia, too. The Bellaria Summer House at the castle in Český Krumlov has been renovated, while at the  Zlatá Koruna Monastery the baroque pharmacy will now be open to the public!

Lysice Chateau