Brdo Castle

Kranj, Slovenia

Brdo Castle near Kranj is the Slovenian Government's main venue for diplomatic meetings and other Government-sponsored events. The present mansion was built in 1510 by Carniolan nobleman Georg (Jurij) Egkh, general administrator of Habsburg private estates in the Duchy of Carniola. It was initially built in the Renaissance style, but has been frequently renovated since. In the 18th century, it was bought by Michelangelo Zois, father of the Carniolan Enlightenment patron of the arts and natural scientist Žiga Zois. In the 19th century, it changed hands several times, with its interior being completely renovated. In the first decades of the 20th century it fell into decay until it was bought by Prince Paul of Yugoslavia in 1935. Prince Paul transformed Brdo from an eclectic and biedermeier provincial mansion into a refined summer royal residence. Between 1935 and 1941, several prominent individuals stayed as guests at Brdo, including Edward VIII of the United Kingdom.

After Yugoslavia became a Communist state in 1945, the mansion was confiscated from the Karadjordjević dynasty and became a summer retreat of the Yugoslav leader Josip Broz Tito. Brdo and the Vila Bled at the nearby Lake Bled were two former royal residences he typically spent much time in spring and summer. During one such visit in spring 1980, Tito suffered a seizure at Brdo and was transferred to the University Medical Centre Ljubljana, where he later died.

After Tito's death in 1980, the estate was transferred to the Socialist Republic of Slovenia and it was later inherited by the Government of the independent Slovenian state. In its traditional role of hosting national and international conferences, in 1990, it was the venue of a conference between the leaders of the six Yugoslav republics in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent the dissolution of the federation.

On June 16, 2001 it hosted a summit between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin, which was the first official meeting between the two leaders. During Slovenia's EU Presidency in the first half of 2008, it was the venue of a series of top level international meetings.

The interior of the mansion is decorated with paintings, frescos and sculptures by prominent Slovene artists, such as France Mihelič, Maksim Sedej, Boris and Zdenko Kalin and Karel Putrih.



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Predoslje 38, Kranj, Slovenia
See all sites in Kranj


Founded: 1510
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Martin Gerlich (4 years ago)
Beautiful Park, totally worth to stop by.
Jaroslav Madacki (4 years ago)
Nestled in the foothills of the Julian Alps just outside the small town of Kranj, Slovenia is Castle Brdo, which is often considered one of the best-maintained palaces in the country. Built by the Habsburg viceroy of Carniola, Jurij Brdski (or Georg Egkh in German), in 1510 (replacing an earlier mansion), this expansive fortified castle was designed in what is described as the "Rennaisance" style, but has undergone numerous changes and renovations over the centuries before arriving at its present appearance. These changes correspond to the castle's many owners and occupants which controlled it throughout history. However, through the years, the castle has retained the name "Brdo", referring back to its creator Jurij Brdski. The castle was purchased by Prince Regent Paul of the Karadjordjević royal family of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1935, who used it as a family retreat. While I could not find sources which detailed the castle's WWII history under German occupation and annexation, it can be assumed the German Army made use of the castle as a strategic position. After WWII, the new communist government of Yugoslavia seized the property from the Karadjordjević family and nationalized the property. It soon thereafter began to be used as an official residence for Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito for when he was spending time in the SR of Slovenia. In 1960, a series of modernizing renovations began on Castle Brdo, all coordinated by Slovene architects Vinko Glanz and Igor Lunaček. Here at the castle, Tito hosted many parties, state delegations, conferences and high-level meetings over the decades, with this being one of his favorite venues to entertain and host guests. In fact, Tito enjoyed Castle Brdo so much he spent the majority of the last two years of his life living here. At the very end, it was from this castle that Tito was rushed to the University Medical Center at Ljubljana in January of 1980 with blood circulation problems in his legs, passing away just a few weeks later. After the dismantling of Yugoslavia ten years later, the Slovenian government took control of the castle, making it their primary location for hosting conferences and international delegations (even hosting unique events such as the first meeting between US President George Bush and Russian leader Vladimir Putin in 2001). Since the 1990s, the descendants of Prince Paul Karadjordjević have attempted to have the castle repatriated, but such efforts have so far been unsuccessful. Castle Brdo is open to the public and has tours available.
Simon “JS-Oblikovanje” Gašparovič (4 years ago)
Amazing park with a lot of places to view and a lot of things to do. The entrance fee is 2eur which is OK. Parking is free
Luka Panjan (4 years ago)
Nice place to valk, also great work events/mitinhs
Luee Nkowode (5 years ago)
Great venue for sunday hike. Entrance is 3€ but you get 2€ bonus for coffee shop.
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