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:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.