Castles and mansions
There are numerous beautiful castles, mansions and palaces in Ljubljana and in the Central Slovenia region. The most famous among these are for the most part renovated and open to the public.
Castles in the past and present
Castles usually stand on hilltops but sometimes they are also placed in some particularly nice spots. In the past, they were reigning over the countryside and they often served as a refuge from the Ottoman incursion. Nowadays, they mostly serve for tourist or protocol purposes and even though some of them are in ruins, most of them are picturesque and well worth visiting.
Their past residents are of course long gone but the museum collections still bear witness to their existence and cover not only the history of the castles but also the cultural heritage of the region. The history of the castles and their residents and the past manners and customs are nowadays revived by medieval fairs, knights’ tournaments and other events.
The Ljubljana Castle, the city’s most prominent landmark, is a medieval fort overlooking the old city centre. The castle has a lot to offer and numerous events are organized throughout the year. Visitors can also see a permanent exhibition called Slovenian history.
Janez Vajkard Valvasor was a Slovenian polymath and scientist who was the first to describe the Slovenian castles in detail. He did so in his famous work The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola published in 1689. He lived in the Bogenšperk Castle, where Valvasor Memorial Room is open to visitors.