Artstetten Castle is the resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg. The first castle was in the 13th century and was replaced by Renaissance style palace in 1560-1592. It was owned by a number of families over the centuries until it was purchased in 1823 by Emperor Francis I of Austria. In 1852, Archduke Franz Karl of Austria became the owner, then he gave it in 1861 to his third son, Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria. In 1889, the property was given to Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, who made extensive renovations to the castle.
Formerly used as a summer residence by members of the Habsburg dynasty, the castle is now the final resting place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his morganatic wife Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, who were assassinated in 1914. Emperor Franz Joseph I refused to allow them to be interred in the traditional Imperial Crypt at the Capuchin Church, Vienna, because of their morganatic marriage. It also houses the Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum.
After Konopiště Castle was confiscated by Czechoslovakia in 1921 as part of the confiscation of Hapsburg properties under the Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Arstetten became the Hohenberg family's primary residence. The castle remains their private property, and parts of the castle are open to the public for visits.
After the Anschluss in 1938, Nazi Germany deported the Hohenbergs to Dachau concentration camp for their anti-Nazi views and confiscated the castle. After the Vienna offensive, the Soviet occupation authorities allowed the residents of Arstetten to elect Duke Maximilian as their mayor, and the Republic of Austria formally returned the castle to the family in 1949, being unable to retain ownership as the Hohenbergs were not covered by the Habsburg Law.
After the death of Franz, Duke of Hohenberg in 1977, the property was deeded to his eldest child, Princess Anita of Hohenberg. The Anita Hohenberg Trust was set up in 2003, and she and her family manage the property.References:
The Church of St Donatus name refers to Donatus of Zadar, who began construction on this church in the 9th century and ended it on the northeastern part of the Roman forum. It is the largest Pre-Romanesque building in Croatia.
The beginning of the building of the church was placed to the second half of the 8th century, and it is supposed to have been completed in the 9th century. The Zadar bishop and diplomat Donat (8th and 9th centuries) is credited with the building of the church. He led the representations of the Dalmatian cities to Constantinople and Charles the Great, which is why this church bears slight resemblance to Charlemagne"s court chapels, especially the one in Aachen, and also to the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna. It belongs to the Pre-Romanesque architectural period.
The circular church, formerly domed, is 27 m high and is characterised by simplicity and technical primitivism.