Depart central Prague by air-conditioned coach and travel south through scenic central Bohemia to the medieval town of Benesov, the site of Konopiste Castle.
Hear about the history of the 3-story residence, first built in 1280. Learn how it was transformed into a Baroque-style chateau in the late 1700s, before becoming residence to the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1887, whose assassination in 1914 in Sarajevo sparked World War I.
After roughly 40 minutes on the road, head inside and enjoy a guided tour of the richly gilded 19th-century interiors. Admire the wood-paneled chambers used as private apartments by the Archduke, and discover how, as a keen hunter, he had Konopiste remodeled into a luxurious hunting lodge.
See his hunting trophies displayed on the walls, and view the magnificent collections of medieval weaponry, paintings and tapestries. Hear about the daily rituals of the Archduke and his wife and children as you tour, and then skip forward to the 21st century as you hear how Konopiste was used as a location in the 2006 movie The Illusionist.
Later, head into the gardens. Step out around the Rose Garden, terraces and lawns dotted with statues and glasshouses, to admire the setting and savor the tranquil atmosphere.
Afterward, return to Prague by coach, where your tour finishes at the start point.