Belaj castle was mentioned in 1367 as Bray in a document by Aquileia patriarch in which was given away for one year to the nobleman and vassal Dujam of St. Vito from Rijeka. After the Uskok War (1615–17) in which was devastated castel St. Martin (Posert), previous center of Belaj estate, Daniel Barbo in the vicinity built this castle as a new residence. It was in the possession of his descendants until 1668 when along Paz, Čepić, and Kožljak was sold toJohann Weikhard from Auersperg noble family. All this castles and estates Johann united in a single manor Wachsenstein (Kožljak), and the center from the medieval castle Kožljak by which was named, was transferred to Belaj. Johann heirs reconstructed the castle in the Baroque style to rustic castle in the end of 17th and 18th century. It was in their property until 1945 when the Yugoslav government nationalized it and given to the use of local agricultural cooperative.
Today the castle is a registered monument of cultural heritage, privately owned, partially renovated and very well preserved. The central residential part of the palace is of rectangular layout, 40 by 20 metres, with four-storey wings. On three sides of the inner courtyard is closed by semicircular arcades on the ground floor and first floor, while the north-west wing entrance closes with facade decorated with stone portal and shallow attic with a distaff and a bell from the 18th century when the wing was upgraded for one floor. The appearance of the castle before the intervention was preserved in the Valvasor drawing from 1679. The walls of the gallery on the first floor until recently were painted landscapes depicting the castle and its surroundings. Left and right of the residential palace in the same line are located farm buildings with basements, stables and barns, which are connected with the castle high surrounding walls. These are long and narrow single-storey buildings with gabled roof.
On the ground floor is the chapel of St. Henry II, with baroque marble altar and painted altarpiece, tombstones of family Barbo and tombstones of noble families from Kršan, Kožljak and Paz transmitted in Belaj from St. Mary on Čepić lake after the closure of the Paulistsmonastery in 1783.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.