Archduke Franz Ferdinand's life and work
Here we preserve the memory of the heir apparent Franz Ferdinand and his wife the Duchess Sophie von Hohenberg, who fell victims to a murderous attack in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. They both entered history as the first victims of World War I. How many people suffered the same fate... their common legacy being a challenge to us for the preservation of peace. Visitors to the museum encounter the thin line between joy and suffering, life and death, and enter the varied world of the political thinker, reformer, collector, but above all of the family man Archduke Franz Ferdinand. A moving family story comes to life! Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a “collector and hunter” – to which countless things bear witness. Photos, documents and objects of personal use as well as objects of art, which Franz Ferdinand brought back from his numerous journeys, all present the different aspects of this many-sided character – the politican and officer, the husband and family father, the estate owner and hunter, the art connoisseur and collector, the traveller and cosmopolitan.
His politican vision too of the “United States of Greater Austria” for the preservation of the multinational Danube Monarchy is set out, as well as the troubles in Europe prior to 28 June 1914.
The bilingual annual exhibition 2018
20 km from Gmünd lies the small Czech town of Chlum, where Archduke Franz Ferdinand once owned Chlumetz Castle, from which he left for Sarajevo in 1914 ... and where the three orphans heard the terrible news ...
In commemoration year 2014, the Czech artist Paul Franz Zaigla designed a bilingual exhibition about Franz Ferdinand in Chlum Castle, together with the historian Vaclav Rames and the mayor of Chlum Jiri Hajek.
The owners of Schloss Artstetten are proud and more than grateful to the initiators to be able to show this bilingual exhibition - especially for the numerous visitors from the Czech Republic - as a permanent loan.