Kalec Castle is a partially ruined castle near Zagorje in Slovenia. The castle, of which only a single tower and some sections of wall survive intact, stands on slope known as Breg, near the source of the Pivka River, at an elevation of 618 m.

Illustrated in Valvasor's 1689 Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, it was built in the mid-17th century by the noble house of Steinberg. Its later owners included the Auersperg family and the Slovene composer Miroslav Vilhar, who also died in it. The castle was abandoned by its last residents after World War I, and began falling apart.

In 1941 it hosted a meeting of the antifascist militant group TIGR.

Today the Krpan Hiking Trail passes beside the ruins, which are surrounded by a copse of old linden trees. The path to the castle is bordered by a row of chestnut trees.



Your name


Bač, Zagorje, Slovenia
See all sites in Zagorje


Founded: 17th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

More Information



4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Daniel James (2 years ago)
Cute little ruin, great picnic spot.
Jetlag S. (2 years ago)
The heart of Slovenia. A mystic place.
Pavel Žák (2 years ago)
A nice old ruin of a castle and a perfect place to rest on your country hike in the summer sun. Also, it is a monument to unification of Slovenian state, so I'm surprised it does not have more of a monumental look. There is nothing here but nice view and informative signs, so BYOB. Don't forget it is prohibited to sleep under tent outside of official camp sites, this place will tempt you though.
Klemen Burja (2 years ago)
On the way from Pivka to knežak go straight, from the main road, where you see the sign at the Y junction, at the sign of the village Zagorje. Drive through the village and keep left. Out of the village proceed on the rubble road another 200-300m and you will see a white tower on the left. Only tower is still standing all the buildings are mostly ruins.
Erlander (3 years ago)
Castle Stemberg or Steinberg was built by the family of the same name around 1620. The first owner was Jurij Steinberg but the most famous member of this family was Franz Anton von Steinberg, who was born in this castle on 28th October 1684. He was a cartographer and a painter. During his life he held many notable positions and for many years he was also the administrator of the mine in Idrija. The Steinberg family sold the castle in 1686 and the new owner became the Auersperg family. In the following year the castle was sold again. It was bought by Baron Janez Krstnik de Leo. In 1721 the castle changed its owners again. This time it became the property of Count Ferdinand Raunach and after him the castle was owned by Baron Jakob Marenzi. In 1782 Marenzi sold the castle at the auction and the property was bought by Matej Vilhar. The most notable member of the Vilhar's family was the poet, composer, journalist and politician Miroslav Vilhar, who became the owner of the castle in 1843. For homeschooling his 9 children he hired as a teacher Fran Levstik,who would later became one of the most well known Slovenian writers. Miroslav Vilhar died in this castle on 6th August 1871. In 1903 the Vilhar's family sold the property to some local villagers and this marks the end of the good times for the castle, which now lays in ruins. Only the tower is still very well preserved. Nevertheless the place is very charming and peaceful. The castle with the beautiful scenery is definitely worth to visit and the place is great for making memorable photos. Of course you can also take a walk in the surroundings and simply enjoy the mix of nature and history.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lednice Castle

The first historical record of Lednice locality dates from 1222. At that time there stood a Gothic fort with courtyard, which was lent by Czech King Václav I to Austrian nobleman Sigfried Sirotek in 1249.

At the end of the 13th century the Liechtensteins, originally from Styria, became holders of all of Lednice and of nearby Mikulov. They gradually acquired land on both sides of the Moravian-Austrian border. Members of the family most often found fame in military service, during the Renaissance they expanded their estates through economic activity. From the middle of the 15th century members of the family occupied the highest offices in the land. However, the family’s position in Moravia really changed under the brothers Karel, Maximilian, and Gundakar of Liechtenstein. Through marriage Karel and Maximilian acquired the great wealth of the old Moravian dynasty of the Černohorskýs of Boskovice. At that time the brothers, like their father and grandfather, were Lutheran, but they soon converted to Catholicism, thus preparing the ground for their rise in politics. Particularly Karel, who served at the court of Emperor Rudolf II, became hetman of Moravia in 1608, and was later raised to princely status by King Matyas II and awarded the Duchy of Opava.

During the revolt of the Czech nobility he stood on the side of the Habsburgs, and took part in the Battle of White Mountain. After the uprising was defeated in 1620 he systematically acquired property confiscated from some of the rebels, and the Liechtensteins became the wealthiest family in Moravia, rising in status above the Žerotíns. Their enormous land holdings brought them great profits, and eventually allowed them to carry out their grandious building projects here in Lednice.

In the 16th century it was probably Hartmann II of Liechtenstein who had the old medieval water castle torn down and replaced with a Renaissance chateau. At the end of the 17th century the chateau was torn down and a Baroque palace was built, with an extensive formal garden, and a massive riding hall designed by Johann Bernard Fischer von Erlach that still stands in almost unaltered form.

In the mid-18th century the chateau was again renovated, and in 1815 its front tracts that had been part of the Baroque chateau were removed.

The chateau as it looks today dates from 1846-1858, when Prince Alois II decided that Vienna was not suitable for entertaining in the summer, and had Lednice rebuilt into a summer palace in the spirit of English Gothic. The hall on the ground floor would serve to entertain the European aristocracy at sumptuous banquets, and was furnished with carved wood ceilings, wooden panelling, and select furniture, surpassing anything of its kind in Europe.