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.



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Founded: 12th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Slovenia


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tomaž Es (20 months ago)
Neogrevano! Mrzlo kot bi pse gonil.
Nikola Nikolic (21 months ago)
Mali ali interesantan muzej sa zanimljivim zagonetkama.
Danica Dobrovc Hribar (2 years ago)
Nice place to hang around despite bad weather
Matej Coklin (2 years ago)
Zanimiva izkušnja razvoja lesarske dejavnosti skozi čas.
Jukka Nykänen (3 years ago)
Nice restaurant close the forestry museo
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