Slovenia is a land of fairy-tale castles which can be found all around this green country. If you are looking for a unique experience, we hardly recommend you to make a tour and explore the history, secrets, and legends of each one of them. Since some of them were built in the 12th century, we can guarantee you, their stories will leave you speechless. Here is the list of most Game of Thrones worthy castles.
Ljubljana Castle is crown of the Slovenian capital. The first owners of the castle were the Spannheim who ruled these lands until 1335 when the central region of Slovenia became a part of the Hapsburg Empire. This powerful family decided to extend the influence of the fortress, providing larger facilities including its own arsenal. After the collapse of the Habsburgs, the castle was converted into jail and prisoners were being held here until the first years of the twentieth century. In 2000 and after the reconstruction it became an important part of the city’s heritage and is nowadays the site of numerous events such as music festivals, theatre, conferences, and even weddings.
Predjama Castle (left) and Ljubljana Castle (right)
Following the Route of castles, we get to Predjama Castle, probably the most famous of all Slovenian castles, located very close to the Postojna Cave. About 60 kilometres from the capital, the castle is very popular with tourists from all over the world. You may wonder what is so special about this place: the castle is built on a strategic location, standing on a high rock just outside a karstic cave and is very difficult to reach.
Since its construction in the twelfth century, the castle has seen many battles and had many owners. Without a doubt, its most famous resident was Baron Erazem Lueger who had the courage to confront the powerful Habsburgs. The Baron decided to ally with the archenemy of the King of Hungary Matthias Corvinus and begin a relentless struggle against the siege of the castle.
Thanks to the secret passages, he and his men were able to leave the castle without being seen by the enemies, but after the betrayal by one of his servants, Erazem was killed by a bullet while sitting on the toilet.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the castle is the area that leads to the caves and can be accessed from the river Lokva. If you visit the castle during knight fair which takes place here every summer you can witness a representation of medieval fights and even try to put on a heavy armor yourself.
The next castle on our route is located just half an hour drive from the capital in the pretty alpine town of Bled. Its fairy tale castle sits on the top of the 130-meter high cliff overlooking the famous lake beneath. The quarters are restored and feature various relics and documents from the times long gone. Among other exhibits, you can find a copy of the Gutenberg printing device which explains the process and the techniques at the same time. Also, don’t miss the opportunity to mint your own coin and take it home as a souvenir of your trip back to the middle ages.
This charming castle was also forming a part of Habsburgs’ possession and despite the on-going reforms and enlargements, the Bled Castle retained its original structure. Try to plan your visit of Bled during the medieval markets to really get a full insight of the past.
Bled Castle above Bled Lake
Although these are perhaps the three most famous castles of Slovenia, the path may continue to other towns where we can find many other historical structures like the white castle of Celje, a permanent resident of the famous counts of Celje. Other less known but not less important castles are Castel Koštel close to Croatia, situated in a stunning location surrounded by mountains and the countryside, Turjak Castel famous for being the epicenter of the major battles during World War II or Ptuj Castle with its own rich history.
The list is endless and you are guaranteed to find one in almost every town no matter how small. History buffs for sure won’t get bored in Slovenia.