Vrbovec castle, which stands at the confluence of the Dreta and Savinja at Nazarje, is regarded as the most important monument of secular medieval architecture in the Upper Savinja Valley. In German it was called Altenburg, while its Slovenian name Vrbovec is associated with the willows (vrba = willow) that once grew along the banks of the two rivers. The original castle, built in the 12th century, stood on a rocky outcrop in the middle of the castle complex, and acquired its current appearance around 1480, with the medieval core of the castle being removed in the 18th century.
Alongside the Aquileia patriarch, the owners of the castle included the mighty house of the Celje Counts, and when they died out the castle was transferred to Austrian ownership. Leigemen of the castle then changed frequently right up until 1615, when it was purchased by the Ljubljana bishopric for its needs. In 1920 the Chapel of St. Joseph was built on top of the outcrop, and the castle itself was renamed Marijingrad. With the occupation in 1941 the castle was seized by the Germans and the chapel was destroyed, since they intended to place anti-aircraft guns at that location.
In 1944 the castle was burned, and at the end of the war it was only partially restored. The Nazarje Forest Corporation saved Vrbovec from the fate of numerous disintegrating castles in Slovenia, carrying out a complete restoration in 1988-1992. Today it houses forestry institutions, the municipal administration, numerous private companies, a restaurant and a museum of forestry and woodworking.References:
Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.
Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.
The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.
Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.
Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.
The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.