Sevnica Castle it dominates the old town of Sevnica and offers views of the surrounding countryside.
The Archdiocese of Salzburg held local estates since 1043 and Sevnica Castle was mentioned for the first time in 1309. The origin of the building was not documented but it was most probably built during the bishopric of Konrad the First von Abensberg (1106–1147), who rebuilt and colonized this area devastated by Hungarian invasions in the 10th century and in the beginning of the 12th century. The only remaining part of the original building is a tower nowadays included in the left wing of the castle.
The so-called Lutheran Cellar was built in the mid-16th century at the southeast side of the Castle Hill. The interior of it embellish frescos dates from the second half of the 16th century.
Between 1595 and 1597, Innocenz Moscon rebuilt the castle in then contemporary Late-Renaissance style and gave it thus its present form. The castle remained the ownership of the Archdiocese of Salzburg until 1803. The storms and fire damaged the castle in 1778 and 1801.
In 1803 Count Johann Händl von Rebenburg became the proprietor of Sevnica Castle. He lowered the battlements, filled in the moats, planted the trees in the park around the castle and made a vineyard with terraces at the south side of the castle hill.
As many other castles in Slovenia, Sevnica Castle was nationalized after the World War II and the precious furniture, which remained untouched until then, vanished. Poor families without apartments of their own were accommodated in the castle and they contributed to the ruination of its property. The park was in a state of total neglect and nobody cared about the vineyard anymore, so even the wine cellar beside Lutheran Cellar was not needed and was removed. The castle has been restored since the 1960s.
Today, Sevnica Castle houses the School and Firefighting Museum, the Museum of Exiles, and an exhibition of decorative arts.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.