Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

Sevnica Castle

Sevnica Castle it dominates the old town of Sevnica and offers views of the surrounding countryside. The Archdiocese of Salzburg held local estates since 1043 and Sevnica Castle was mentioned for the first time in 1309. The origin of the building was not documented but it was most probably built during the bishopric of Konrad the First von Abensberg (1106–1147), who rebuilt and colonized this area devastated by Hun ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Sevnica, Slovenia

Crni Kal Castle

The castle of Črni Kal was noted in the 11th century. Apart from being a resting place for traders and travellers, it was also the place of the conflict between the Habsburgs and the Venetians for the dominance of Koper. The ruins of a castle overlooking Črni Kal, called Town or Old Town by domicile inhabitants, stand on a cliff some 30 meters high that once could be reached only by a four-meter-long drawbridge. Situat ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Črni Kal, Slovenia

Fala Castle

The origin of the former Fala Castle may date back to the 15th century. Oton Der Pergauer ruined the old castle around 1407, but there is no written data on this. The first written record of the old castle however dates back to 1311. The structure and the land was at that time owned by a Benedictine monastery St. Paul’s Abbey from Carinthia. Upon valuation of assets in 1542 the castle was evaluated at 200 pounds and ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Fala, Slovenia

Slovenska Bistrica Castle

The predecessor of the current Slovenska Bistrica castle is first mentioned in 1265, when emperor Rudolf gave it and the adjoining town in fief to count (from 1286 duke of Carinthia) Meinhard of Gorizia. In 1313, it passed to the Habsburgs, who leased the castle and town to the noble house of Walsee. After 1368, the lordship was obtained by the counts of Celje; after their extinction in 1456 it reverted to the ducal lands ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Slovenska Bistrica, Slovenia

The Court of Princes

The 'lower castle' served as a residence for the Counts and later The Princes of Celje during the 14th and 15th century. It was separated from the town settlement by battlements and a defence ditch. After the extinction of The princes of Celje in the 15th century, the court was used as an office of the Habsburg caretakers and was transformed into a barracks in the 18th century. The building we know today has und ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Celje, Slovenia

Tolmin Castle Ruins

Tolmin Castle was first mentioned in 1188, and its chapel of Saint Martin in 1194. The east and north towers appear to have formed the original core of the fortress; another two hexagonal towers were added later. The north tower had an extensive basement for the storage of provisions, which along with two wells and rainwater cisterns allowed for the withstanding of sieges. The castle was held in fief by a long series of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Tolmin, Slovenia

Murska Sobota Castle

Murska Sobota Castle was first indirectly mentioned in 1255. Its existence was confirmed in 1478, when a castellum in Belmwra was mentioned, and in 1498, when it was named as castellum Mwrayzombath. The Bel Mura castle was the administrative centre of the whole Belmur territory. It was situated at the crossing of traffic and merchant trails. During its long history the castle has been owned by many families, including th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Murska Sobota, Slovenia

Grad Castle

Grad means 'castle' in Slovene and refers to the castle dating from the late 12th century strategically situated on a hill overlooking the settlement. It is one of the largest castle complexes in Slovenia, with 365 rooms. After World War II, the castle was divided into small residential apartments. With Slovenia joining the European Union, funds have been made available for the restoration of the castle. Certain parts of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Grad, Slovenia

Bogensperk Castle

Bogenšperk Castle is a 16th-century castle. It is best known for its association with the 17th-century historian Johann Weikhard von Valvasor. Standing on a low hill, the Renaissance castle is fully restored, and is listed as an important cultural monument of Slovenia. The three-story building consists of four tracts from several time periods, connecting four towers and surrounding an arcaded inner courtyard. The o ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Bogenšperk, Slovenia

Borl Castle

Borl Castle was first mentioned in written records in 1255 when the Magyar king Bela IV issued a bill to Friedrich, the Lord of Ptuj, regarding several castles, among which was Anchenstein or Borl. The Anchensteins were the first known owners of the castle who lived there and had its coat of arms. They died out in 1323. The property passed on to the Lords of Ptuj who themselves died out in 1438. The castle lies at an im ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Cirkulane, Slovenia

Bizeljsko Castle

Bizeljsko Castle consists of a residential part that forms the centre of the complex and includes a Baroque chapel, and an outer part that served a defensive purpose. The castle was mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1404. In 1532 the Tattenbachs came to the castle and were in possession of it until 1671. Later the name Windischgraetz was among its famous owners. The oldest parts of the now visible struct ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Bizeljska Vas, Slovenia

Gewerkenegg Castle

Gewerkenegg Castle dominates the Idrija city. It was erected at the beginning of the 16th century to serve as the administrative headquarters and warehouse of the Idrija mine, then the second largest mercury mine in the world. The now beautifully restored Renaissance complex experienced a Baroque renovation in the middle of the 18th century when the inner arcaded courtyard was created and painted with attractive decorativ ...
Founded: 16th century | Location: Idrija, Slovenia

Velenje Castle

By form and function, PeleÅŸ is a palace, but it is consistently called a castle. Its architectural style is a romantically inspired blend Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival similar to Schloss Neuschwanstein inBavaria. A Saxon influence can be observed in the interior courtyard facades, which have allegorical hand-painted murals and ornate fachwerk similar to that seen in northern European alpine architecture. Interior ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Velenje, Slovenia

Prem Castle

Prem Castle was built before 1213. After the Udo Knights there were many owners, among them the Walseeis, Hallers, Habsburgs, and Porcia Dukes. This compact two-storey building with a ground plan in the shape of the letter L has a Romanesque nucleus with an extension and a smaller yard protected with a wall. The inner yard was decorated with Renaissance arcades. In the middle of the yard stands a small well. The entire st ...
Founded: c. 1200 | Location: Prem, Slovenia

Rajhenburg Castle

The Rajhenburg Castle dates back in the 9th century but the current construction derives from the 16th century. The original structure was demolished at the beginning of the 10th century, but Bishop Konrad of Salzburg had it renovated between 1131 and 1147. The most prominent owners of the castle were the Rajhenburgs, the noble Moscons, the Knights Gradeneck, the Barons Gall Galenstein and the Counts Attems. Around 1600 ...
Founded: 1131- | Location: Brestanica, Slovenia

Kostel Castle

Kostel Castle site was originally occupied by a smaller fortification, which was expanded into a castle between 1247 and 1325 by the Counts of Ortenburg, vassals of the Patriarchate of Aquileia. First mentioned in 1336 as castrum Grafenwarth, its current name is first recorded in 1449 as Costel. After the extinction of the Counts Ortenburg on 28 April 1418, the Counts of Celje inherited their area holdings, expanding the ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Kostel, Slovenia

Metlika Castle

Metlika Castle is located above the old part of the town of Metlika, very near the Croatian border. The castle was first mentioned in written sources in 1456. During the Ottoman incursions in the 15th and 16th century, it was owned by the Counts of Alap, and it played a key role in defense against the Turks. Later, the castle was owned by the house of Frankopan, and later yet by the chapterhouse of the bishopric of Zagreb ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Metlika, Slovenia

Fuzine Castle

Fužine Castle is Ljubljana's has retained its original Renaissance character. It was built by a crossing point over the Ljubljanica river's rapids between 1528 and 1557 on commission from the wealthy local merchants Veit Khisl and Hans Weilhaimer, the former of whom served several terms of office as Mayor of Ljubljana. A defence tower was built in each of the four corners of the castle building and another one over the e ...
Founded: 1528-1557 | Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia

Branik Castle

Branik Castle, also known as Rihemberk Castle, is a 13th-century castle above the village of Branik. Fortified settlements have been present on the hill since prehistoric times; the site was once occupied by a Roman castrum. The date of the founding of the castle is unclear, but the noble house of Rihemberk is first recorded in 1230, originating from Riffenstein in Tyrol (now the castle of Reifenstein in Freienfeld, north ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Branik, Slovenia

Baumkircher Tower

The Baumkircher Tower, also known as Tabor Castle, is a defensive tower or small castle located in the town of Vipava. The tower was built by Herhlin Kranspergar in 1342, as a fortification guarding the adjacent stone bridge across the Vipava River. In 1386, the knight Haertl sold it to Hermann I of Celje After passing from their hands to the Patriarchate of Aquileia to the Habsburgs, it was given in fief to the knights B ...
Founded: 1342 | Location: Vipava, Slovenia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Palazzo Colonna

The Palazzo Colonna is a palatial block of buildings built in part over ruins of an old Roman Serapeum, and has belonged to the prestigious Colonna family for over twenty generations.

The first part of the palace dates from the 13th century, and tradition holds that the building hosted Dante in his visit to Rome. The first documentary mention notes that the property hosted Cardinal Giovanni and Giacomo Colonna in the 13th century. It was also home to Cardinal Oddone Colonna before he ascended to the papacy as Martin V (1417–1431).

With his passing, the palace was sacked during feuds, and the main property passed into the hands of the Della Rovere family. It returned to the Colonna family when Marcantonio I Colonna married Lucrezia Gara Franciotti Della Rovere, the niece of pope Julius II. The Colonna"s alliance to the Habsburg power, likely protected the palace from looting during the Sack of Rome (1527).

Starting with Filippo Colonna (1578–1639) many changes have refurbished and create a unitary complex around a central garden. Architects including Girolamo Rainaldi and Paolo Marucelli labored on specific projects. Only in the 17th and 18th centuries were the main facades completed. Much of this design was completed by Antonio del Grande (including the grand gallery), and Girolamo Fontana (decoration of gallery). In the 18th century, the long low facade designed by Nicola Michetti with later additions by Paolo Posi with taller corner blocks (facing Piazza Apostoli) was constructed recalls earlier structures resembling a fortification.

The main gallery (completed 1703) and the masterful Colonna art collection was acquired after 1650 by both the cardinal Girolamo I Colonna and his nephew the Connestabile Lorenzo Onofrio Colonna and includes works by Lorenzo Monaco, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Palma the Elder, Salviati, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Pietro da Cortona, Annibale Carracci (painting of The Beaneater), Guercino, Francesco Albani, Muziano and Guido Reni. Ceiling frescoes by Filippo Gherardi, Giovanni Coli, Sebastiano Ricci, and Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari celebrate the role of Marcantonio II Colonna in the battle of Lepanto (1571). The gallery is open to the public on Saturday mornings.

The older wing of the complex known as the Princess Isabelle"s apartments, but once housing Martin V"s library and palace, contains frescoes by Pinturicchio, Antonio Tempesta, Crescenzio Onofri, Giacinto Gimignani, and Carlo Cesi. It contains a collection of landscapes and genre scenes by painters like Gaspard Dughet, Caspar Van Wittel (Vanvitelli), and Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Along with the possessions of the Doria-Pamphilij and Pallavacini-Rospigliosi families, this is one of the largest private art collections in Rome.