Snežnik Castle construction time is unclear; its existence is first implied in 1269, by way of mention of its owner Meinhard von Schneberg. The castle itself was first mentioned in 1461, at the time it was a possession of the Patriarchate of Aquileia, with the Schnebergs as their ministeriales. In 1393, a quarter-share of it and several neighboring farms was purchased by William II von Lamberg, a relative of the Schnebergs; his descendants increased their share through the 15th century until they owned the entire estate, giving the castle its more-or-less current renaissance appearance as well.
By marriages, the castle passed to the Scheyer family, followed by the Prancks and, in the first third of the 17th century, the barons Rambschissl, who sold it to the Imperial governor of Carniola, prince Eggenberg. Along with Snežnik, the prince bought the lordship of Lož, moving its administrative center from the uncomfortable, hilltop Lož Castle to the more amiable and better-accessible manor at Snežnik. In 1669, Janez Žiga Eggenberg sold the Loš-Snežnik lordship to prince Janez Vajkard Auersperg, the count of Gottschee (Kočevje).
in 1707 the estate was taken over by count Jurij Gotfrid Lichtenberg, who in 1718 permanently joined the Lož and Snežnik lordships. The house of Lichtenberg held the estate for 140 years, a period marked by the centralist policies of the Habsburg monarchy, in particular the constant diminution of the rights of the nobility. By the early 19th century, the Lichtenberg had been forced deep into hock; a court-ordered appraial occurred in 1816. In 1832 the family was forced to accept a lottery loan; the main prize was the entire Snežnik estate, or 250,000 florins. The lucky winner, a Hungarian blacksmith, took the cash, while the Lichtenbergs went on to sell the estate in 1847 to a Viennese couple named Karis, who went bankrupt shortly thereafter. The estate was purchased at auction in 1853 for 800,000 florins by the German prince Oton Viktor Schoenburg-Waldenburg.
Prince Jurij, the third son of Oton Viktor, inherited the castle in 1859 and heavily remodeled it for use as a summer home and hunting lodge. In addition to adding a story, two turrets, a terrace, and elevating the defensive walls, he also richly furnished the interior and established a surrounding English-style park.
Wishing to preserve the estate for his heirs, the prince established a fideicommiss about the property. Stocking the woods with deer and the ponds with trout, he ordered several paths built through the forest, he also hired experts to maintain the surrounding wilderness, and was the patron of the first Slovene forestry school, opened in the castle in 1869 but closed in 1875 due to germanophone political pressure. The princes' construction of a steam sawmill began the industrial development of the Lož Valley.
In 1902 prince Jurij was succeeded by his firstborn, Herman, a diplomat. After World War I the estate was divided between Kingdom of Italy and the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes by the Treaty of Rapallo. Prince Herman died in 1943 at the family castle of Hermsdorf by Dresden. During WWII the castle caretaker faithfully guarded the estate, repelling looters; as a consequence, the interior furnishing of the Schoenburgs survive intact. In 1945, the castle and estate were nationalized, and became a hunting lodge reserved for important state functionaries. In 1983, the castle was opened to the public as a museum.
Grave markers looted from the ruins of an ancient Roman outpost in Šmarata were incorporated into the castle's facade. The four-story building is surrounded by a renaissance-era wall. The castle was heavily remodeled in the second half of the 19th century; the majority of the interior furnishings date from this period, as do the castle parkgrounds, which are characterized by numerous meadows connected by riding and walking paths, bordered with numerous chestnut and linden tree rows, and which contain two small artificial lakes filled by Obrh and Brezno creeks.
An engraving in Valvasor's 1689 The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola depicts Snežnik; while of generally similar appearance and layout as today, the twin round and diagonally square corner turrets guarding the main gate were then smaller, square wooden watchtowers. The engraving also shows the castle's defensive ditch had not yet been flooded and was traversed by a simple wooden bridge had instead of a multi-arched stone one.References:
The St Sophia's Cathedral was built between 1045-1050 inside the Novgorod Kremlin (fortress). It is one of the earliest stone structures of northern Russia. Its height is 38 m. Originally it was taller, for during the past nine centuries the lower part of the building became concealed by the two-metre thick cultural layer. The cathedral was built by Prince Vladimir, the son of Yaroslav the Wise, and until the 1130s this principal church of the city also served as the sepulchre of Novgorodian princes. For the Novgorodians, St Sophia became synonymous with their town, the symbol of civic power and independence.
The five-domed church looks simpler but no less impressive than its prototype, the thirteen-domed St Sophia of Kiev. The cathedral exterior is striking in its majesty and epic splendour evoking the memories of Novgorod's glorious past and invincible might. In the 11th century it looked more imposing than now. Its facade represented a gigantic mosaic of huge, coarsely trimmed irregular slabs of flagstone and shell rock. In some places (particularly on the apses), the wall was covered with mortar, smoothly polished, drawn up to imitate courses of brick or of whitestone slabs, and slightly coloured. As a result, the facade was not white, as it is today, but multicoloured. The play of stone, decorative painting and the building materials of various texture enhanced the impression of austere simplicity and introduced a picturesque effect.
The two-storied galleries extend along the building's southern, western and northern sides, with a stair-tower constructed at the north-eastern corner. The cathedral has three entrances - the southern, western and northern, of which the western was the main one intended for ceremonial processions. A gate standing at the entrance is known as the Sigtuna Gate (mid-12th century); according to legend, it was brought from the Swedish town of Sigtuna in 1187. The second name of the gate derives from the town of Magdeburg, where it was made. The two leaves are decorated with biblical and evangelical scenes in cast bronze relief. In the lower left corner there are portraits of the craftsmen who created this superb specimen of medieval Western European bronze-work. An inscription in Latin gives their names, Riquin and Weissmut. The small central figure - judging from an inscription in Slavonic - is a representation of the Russian master craftsman Avraam, who assembled the gate.
There is yet another bronze gate in the cathedral, called the Korsun Gate. Made in the 11th century in Chersonesos, Byzantium, it leads from the southern gallery into the Nativity Side-Chapel. Legend has it that the gate was handed over to Novgorod as a gift of Prince Yaroslav the Wise (c. 978 - 1054).
The interior of the cathedral is as majestic as its exterior. It is divided by huge piers into five aisles, three of which end in altar apses. In the south-western corner, inside the tower, there is a wide spiral in relatively small, modest buildings of the 12th - 16th centuries.