Branik Castle

Branik, Slovenia

Branik Castle, also known as Rihemberk Castle, is a 13th-century castle above the village of Branik. Fortified settlements have been present on the hill since prehistoric times; the site was once occupied by a Roman castrum. The date of the founding of the castle is unclear, but the noble house of Rihemberk is first recorded in 1230, originating from Riffenstein in Tyrol (now the castle of Reifenstein in Freienfeld, northern Italy). The family received substantial properties in fief from the Counts of Gorizia, including estates in the Vipava Valley, the Kras plateau, in the outskirts of the town of Gorizia and elsewhere. The Rihemberg male line died out in 1371.

In the 14th and 15th centuries the lordship contracted to the immediate surroundings of Rihemberk, a small part of the Vipava Valley, and the Kras Plateau. After the Counts of Gorizia died out in 1500, the castle passed to the Habsburgs. In 1528 both it and the surrounding lands were acquired by the noble house of Lanthieri, who added a residential palacio in 1649.

The Lanthieris retained the castle for a full 417 years, until World War II. On the night of 22–23 July 1944, partisans resistance fighters assaulted the castle, blew it up and set it on fire, so as to deny its use as an outpost to the German Army. All furnishings were destroyed. In 1945, the castle was nationalized. Since the 1980s, it has since been gradually restored, though all prewar structures have not yet been fully rebuilt.

The Romanesque foundations of the castle are still evident in some places. The castle complex is centered on a prominent 13th-century round keep, around which a substantial baroque residential tract was later developed, all surrounded with renaissance defensive walls and 16th century corner turrets. The older structures contain some Gothic elements, notably the castle chapel.

The building took its current shape in the 17th/18th centuries, when it was turned into a baroque residence. Significant remodeling was carried out in the 19th century as well, notably the romantic crenellations of the walls.

A walled garden - partially preserved - once occupied the south slope below the castle. The design of the entrance gate suggests the garden belongs to the baroque period of the castle.

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Address

Branik 116, Branik, Slovenia
See all sites in Branik

Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Dorothy Kowalsky (14 months ago)
I can only give 4 stars because I couldn't get in. They really should change the hours on Google maps. And I didn't read other review where only weekends are mentioned. It is impressive from the outside though
Alena (15 months ago)
Amazing place to visit!!! magnificent castle, view for the whole valley! I wish all the best for people bringing castle back to life!
Jana R (2 years ago)
Wonderful guy at the entrance tells you short story and you may wander around, price for 1 person is 5 euro. Worth to visit. It has lovely views and you learn a lot about this place.
Ales Kus (2 years ago)
We were on quick stop by and it was really funny and informative as well! Castle is still in renovation but it’s really nice - staff is trying with really great promotion! Guy at the door - he made my day even better ;-) You have to go here - fully recommend!
Paul Heller (2 years ago)
While the castle is beautiful and relatively well-preserved, it's currently undergoing renovations and is actually closed to the public, at least during the off-season. There is a sign on the entrance that says private tours are available. Parking is somewhat of a challenge, as there is no parking lot. Luckily we had a drone and the views from the castle are stunning, overlooking the Vipava Valley. Recommend if in the area with private transport.
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