Bistra Carthusian Monastery was founded in 1255 as the first monastery in Carniola. The first half of the 14th century represents the culmination of the monastery. This is when the monastery greatly expanded and invested in the functioning of the monastic library, where they created a number of copies and original works. Later began the slow decay of the monastery which was repeatedly hit by fires and in 1670 by a strong earthquake. The final collapse of the monastery came when the Emperor Joseph II commanded the dissolution of the monasteries which did not contributed to the prosperity of the country.
The property was split into several parts - some were confiscated, some passed into the hands of the Church and some were sold. The castle’s image, as you can admire it today, was shaped after many renovations in the mid-19th century, when the grounds became the property of the Galle family. In 1945 the property was nationalized, and since 1951, the castle is a cultural monument of national importance and the place of the Technical Museum of Slovenia.
The attention of most visitors is drawn towards the water-driven elements - the flour mill, blacksmith’s workshop, fulling mill and veneer sawmill, and some temporary exhibitions. Road vehicle fans won’t be disappointed either. They can admire the oldest surviving car from Slovenia or enjoy the sight of the limousines that once belonged to President Tito, Premier of former Yugoslavia.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.