CnP: The castello has close links with Archduke Franz Ferdinand who was killed in Sarajevo and whose assassination prompted WWI. Could you tell me about this connection between the castle and the archduke?
SC: Franz Ferdinand of Austria inherited the castle from his second-degree uncle, Francesco II of Habsburg-Este, who was the exiled Archduke of Modena. The latter, being childless, wanted to assure the survival of the surname "Este" and of his great heritage by tying it to the Austrian royal house, hoping for a future succession to the throne of Modena. Franz Ferdinand accepted this great legacy and the new surname, even though he was not interested in the fate of Modena at all, and did not have any affection for Catajo. In fact, he exploited the castle's properties as if Catajo were a "gold mine". He took away large quantities of works of art, weapons, antiquities collections and furniture, that he used to embellish his favorite dwelling, Konopiste Castle, situated just outside Prague. Every so often, he came to Catajo for deer hunting trips. He left Catajo for good in June 1914, stopping briefly in Vienna and then heading to Sarajevo, where he was going to be assassinated a few days later, thus changing Europe's and the world's history and fate.