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.



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Bač, Zagorje, Slovenia
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Founded: 17th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

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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.
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Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".