Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

Mokrice Castle

Mokrice Castle is located on a hill in the northern part of the settlement of Rajec near the Croatian border. First mentioned in 1444, it was rebuilt in the 16th century and in 1941. The beginnings of the design of the castle garden belong to the period of late Baroque in the 18th century: a symmetrically regular axial scheme was arranged south of the castle. The Baroque stone statues of the Four Seasons, Baroquicised Ca ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Rajec, Slovenia

Negova Castle

Negova was most probably settled already in the Stone Age and in the Bronze Age. Negova was first mentioned in 12th century as Negoinezelo, most probably after a Slavic man Negoj, who is often mentioned in the records from Middle age. There was the oldest count in the whole region and there is still a pillory to bear witness to this. The history of Negova is closely linked whit the castle. For a short time in the 15th cen ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Negova, Slovenia

Pisece Castle

Pišece Castle appeared for the first time in written sources in 1329, and was built to serve the Archbishopric of Salzburg who had estates in the area. The archbishops kept the feudal rights over the castle until 1803, although the castle had been bought in 1595 by the Moscon family. A lawsuit determining the proper ownership of the castle was not concluded until 1637, however; it ruled in the favour of the Moscon ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Pišece, Slovenia

Vurberk Castle

The castle of Vurberk is situated on the southern edge of the Slovenske Gorice hills and was first mentioned in 1238. It was badly damaged during a bombing in 1945. A smaller part of the ramparts was renovated, while the biggest part is still in ruins. Today, the castle is mainly used as a performance site, as there is an 'amphitheatre' in its yard. In the wall of the Church of the Virgin Mary are tombstones of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Vurberk, Slovenia

Podcetrtek Castle

Podčetrtek belongs among the oldest castles in Slovenia. It was once located at an old national border, at Sotla river facing Croatia or Hungary. Podčetrtek is located in the area which already in 1071 became a property of Krško diocese. The construction of the castle can be dated to a time after the first third of the 12th century. First written record dates from 1361. On 12th of November 1441 bishop of ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Podčetrtek, Slovenia

Leskovec Castle

Leskovec Castle or Turn Castle is a 15th-century castle north of the village of Leskovec pri Krškem. It has been redesigned in the 16th and the 18th centuries. Two manors on the site are first mentioned in 1436, held by Baron Johann Dürrer concurrently with the Counts of Celje, and later sold to the latter. The formidable castle was taken and looted by peasant rebels in 1515. The Counts of Celje were followed ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Leskovec pri Krškem, Slovenia

Gornja Radgona Castle

Gornja Radgona Castle was built sometime between 1147 and 1182, and served as an important fortress on the border of Styria with Hungary. The town of Gornja Radgona grew up at the base of the hill upon which the castle is built. The castle is mentioned in 1265 as having 40 subservient villages with 355 farms. In the late 15th century it was the property of one Hans von Stutenberg, who joined Andreas Baumkircher in a rebe ...
Founded: 1147-1182 | Location: Gornja Radgona, Slovenia

Krumperk Castle

Krumperk Castle was probably built in the late 13th century by the noble family Rabensberg from Koprivnik. The predecessor of the current castle is first mentioned in 1338 as a possession of Herkules of Krumperk, of the noble house of Kreutberg. By the 15th century, it belonged to the house of Rusbach, which sold it to Engelhand Zellenperger in 1410 under the name Turn Chraw-perg. Valvasor notes that it had once been call ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gorjuša, Slovenia

Hmeljnik Castle

The Hmeljnik Castle is situated on a stone slope above the village of Karteljevo close to Novo mesto, dominating the views from the valley and from the road Ljubljana - Bregana. The castle was first mentioned in 1217. Its original masters are not known - they were probably the Lords of Višnja gora, possibly also the Lords of Hopfenbach or Hmeljnik whose family line was terminated in the 14th century. The castle has ...
Founded: 1217 | Location: Novo mesto, Slovenia

Komenda Castle

Komenda castle was mentioned already in 1149. It was owned by the Sovereign Order of Malta from 1323 to 1780. The castle represents historical construction features and style elements and is an important cultural and historic monument. A special relic of the castle is its antique lion made of Pohorje marble, which stands on the staircase railing just by the entrance gate. Above the stairs, a bronze plaque with the portra ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Polzela, Slovenia

Smlednik Castle Ruins

Smlednik Castle was presumably built in the 12th century on the foundations of a prehistoric fort and a Roman stronghold of a later origin. The strategic location of the hill overlooking a crossing of the Sava River was appreciated by the first lords of the region, the Counts of Weimar Orlamunde, who built a defence tower on the hilltop in the 11th century. The tower was then expanded in several phases, but remained unalt ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Smlednik, Slovenia

Zaprice Castle

Zaprice Castle, first indirectly mentioned in 1306, was originally built in the 14th century by the Dienger von Apecz family. It was rebuilt in the early 16th century by Jurij Lamberg, who gave it corner oriel windows and surrounded it with a wall with two towers, and gave it a German name: Steinbüchel. The castle is subsequently remembered as a meeting place for Kamnik"s Lutherans. During the 17th and 18th cent ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Kamnik, Slovenia

Lendava Castle

Lendava castle is first mentioned in the records in 1192 as a property of the Hungarian noble family Bánffy and was theirs until the middle of the 17th century, when it fell to the Nádasdy family for a short period, and in the 18th century came under the management of the Eszterházy family. Today it is a massive two-storey building with a mansard roof overlooking the town of Lendava-Lendva. The walls ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lendava, Slovenia

Podsreda Castle

Podsreda Castle dates to around 1150 and is probably the best-preserved example of secular Romanesque architecture in Slovenia. It features a typical 12th-century defensive tower (keep), a Romanesque chapel, and two wings from about the same period. The orderly, rectangular plan is also typical of the late Romanesque period. Over the years the castle has seen many owners. Though neglected after the Second World War, the ...
Founded: c. 1150 | Location: Podsreda, Slovenia

Gracar Turn Castle

The Gracar Turn ('Grätzer"s Tower') is not recorded in medieval sources, though the historian Valvasor mentions a manor stood on the site in the 14th century, built by the Grätzer family from nearby Gradac, whence its name derives. After passing through numerous hands, it was purchased by Anton Rudež in 1821. The author Janez Trdina was often Rudež"s guest at Gracar Turn; several of the for ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Hrastje, Slovenia

Mirna Castle

Mirna Castle was built in the 12th-century castle and destroyed by the Partisans in December 1942. The restoration stated in 1962. The castle and its surroundings that extend along the plain to the town of Mirna offer an amazing backdrop to one of the most beautiful views in the Mirna Valley and emphasize a heritage of the esthetic principles of medieval architecture. The castle changed owners frequently, but all the Mirn ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Mirna, Slovenia

Hrastovec Castle

The castle in Hrastovec is one of the most impressive castles in Slovenia, not only because of its imposing position, but also because of its excellent formation. It is a huge complex with an inner yard and composed of older parts with three Renaissance two-storeyed wings and three towers to the south, and, to the north, of several wings of later construction with unevenly levelled roofs. The building gradually gained in ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Hrastovec, Slovenia

Gradac Castle

Gradac Castle was first mentioned in written documents in 1228. The castle island is mostly covered by a large Renaissance park that is neglected and overgrown. It includes a garden, remnants of an alley, and the mausoleum of the last owner (named Gusič), who was a businessman from Zagreb. There are plans to restore the castle and renew the park. The Municipality of Metlika repaired the roof of the castle to prevent ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Gradac, Slovenia

Hompos Castle

Hompoš castle was mentioned in 1323. It changed hands several times before during centuries before been nationalized after the World War II. Today it is completely modernized with adjacent Pohorski palace.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Pivola, Slovenia

Ribnica Castle

Largely burned during World War II and later mostly demolished, Ribnica Castle beside the Bistrica River belonged in the group of early castles built mainly in the second half of the 12th century. It included a two- or three-story residence and an interior courtyard with a cistern protected by a wall. In the Middle Ages, the basic interior circumference was strengthened, and at the end of the 15th century and in the 16th ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Ribnica, Slovenia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Wroclaw Town Hall

The Old Town Hall of Wrocław is one of the main landmarks of the city. The Old Town Hall's long history reflects developments that have taken place in the city since its initial construction. The town hall serves the city of Wroclaw and is used for civic and cultural events such as concerts held in its Great Hall. In addition, it houses a museum and a basement restaurant.

The town hall was developed over a period of about 250 years, from the end of 13th century to the middle of 16th century. The structure and floor plan changed over this extended period in response to the changing needs of the city. The exact date of the initial construction is not known. However, between 1299 and 1301 a single-storey structure with cellars and a tower called the consistory was built. The oldest parts of the current building, the Burghers’ Hall and the lower floors of the tower, may date to this time. In these early days the primary purpose of the building was trade rather than civic administration activities.

Between 1328 and 1333 an upper storey was added to include the Council room and the Aldermen’s room. Expansion continued during the 14th century with the addition of extra rooms, most notably the Court room. The building became a key location for the city’s commercial and administrative functions.

The 15th and 16th centuries were times of prosperity for Wroclaw as was reflected in the rapid development of the building during that period. The construction program gathered momentum, particularly from 1470 to 1510, when several rooms were added. The Burghers’ Hall was re-vaulted to take on its current shape, and the upper story began to take shape with the development of the Great Hall and the addition of the Treasury and Little Treasury.

Further innovations during the 16th century included the addition of the city’s Coat of arms (1536), and the rebuilding of the upper part of the tower (1558–59). This was the final stage of the main building program. By 1560, the major features of today’s Stray Rates were established.

The second half of the 17th century was a period of decline for the city, and this decline was reflected in the Stray Rates. Perhaps by way of compensation, efforts were made to enrich the interior decorations of the hall. In 1741, Wroclaw became a part of Prussia, and the power of the City diminished. Much of the Stray Rates was allocated to administering justice.

During the 19th century there were two major changes. The courts moved to a separate building, and the Rates became the site of the city council and supporting functions. There was also a major program of renovation because the building had been neglected and was covered with creeping vines. The town hall now has several en-Gothic features including some sculptural decoration from this period.

In the early years of the 20th century improvements continued with various repair work and the addition of the Little Bear statue in 1902. During the 1930s, the official role of the Rates was reduced and it was converted into a museum. By the end of World War II Town Hall suffered minor damage, such as aerial bomb pierced the roof (but not exploded) and some sculptural elements were lost. Restoration work began in the 1950s following a period of research, and this conservation effort continued throughout the 20th century. It included refurbishment of the clock on the east facade.