Žužemberk Castle is one of the most picturesque medieval castles in Slovenia

When it comes to castles in the Adria region, Slovenia is definitely fighting a tough battle with itself as to which of them is the most beautiful. There are several hundred of them, and some are certainly more popular among tourists.

To better get to know those which are not, we decided to explore the very one that hardly anyone knows about, yet holds the title of one of the most picturesque.


In the very heart of Slovenia, about 50 kilometers southeast of Ljubljana and about 100 kilometers from Zagreb, in the municipality of Žužemberk on a steep cliff above the Krka river itself, there is a magical medieval castle with a breathtaking view of the valley.


Zuzemberk Castle, Photo: Kasto, Depositphotos


Žužemberk Castle, although it was first mentioned in writing in 1246, it is difficult to say when its construction officially began. According to unofficial information, it is believed to have been built sometime at the beginning of the 11th century, and at that time it only had a quadrangular tower and the palace chapel of St. Urhand it was half its current size.

Throughout history, it has been upgraded and renovated several times it took on its present appearance only in the 17th century after the castle and the main square of Žužemberk burned down.


Žužemberk Castle, Photo: Dudlajzov, Depositphotos


Although the castle changed owners over the centuries, the first recorded official owners of the Žužemberk castle were the Habsburgs, who then rented it to Wolf and Juri Engelbert of Tury in 1538. After the death of Wolf’s son Andreas, who died a year after the Turkish invasion, the castle came into the possession of the Auersperg family, who managed it until World War II.

After the victory over the Turks, Johann Weikhard of Auersperg was born in the castle. He served Emperor Ferdinand III for years and later became the first minister in the Habsburg Monarchy. Today, there is a plaque in his memory at the entrance to the castle, which was placed on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of his birth.



During the Second World War, members of the Italian army stayed in the Žužemberk castle, when it was largely destroyed by rocket fire. Its restoration started only in 1960.

It consisted of three levels, the underground where the prison was, courtyards, and 8 towers with protective walls.


Žužemberk Castle, Photo: Dudlajzov, Depositphotos


Today, the castle is used for various events that take place in the city, it has an exhibition where you can see how life used to be inside the walls and get to know its history even better. Žužemberk Castle can be viewed completely for free, but if you still want a guided tour, it will cost you 4 euros per person.

Of course, if you decide to visit it, take the opportunity to look around this wonderful place, but also enjoy the murmur of the Krka River.





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