OUR STORY

"One of Slovenia's best-preserved 12th-century Romanesque castles"

Welcome

to the website of one of Slovenia’s most impressive historical landmarks, a medieval castle that has stood the test of time and emerged from a state of disrepair to become a hub of cultural, educational, social, and tourist activities.

This 12th-century Romanesque fortress has been meticulously renovated over the past 40 years, preserving its original character and charm while providing modern amenities for visitors to enjoy.

We invite you to explore our website, learn more about our rich heritage and exciting event calendar, and plan your next visit to this remarkable destination.

Podsreda Castle today

Today, Podsreda Castle is a bustling destination for travelers and locals alike, offering a wide range of activities and events that showcase the region's rich history, culture, and natural beauty.

From self-guided tours of the castle interior with audio guides to guided tours with castle guides, cultural events, concerts and weddings, there is always something happening at this vibrant destination.

Alongside the exceptionally preserved castle architecture, guests can enjoy interesting exhibitions for children and adults, a treasure hunt adventure game, a Castle café, a shop selling local products, the Kozjansko Regional Park info center, and even book a special castle holiday at the four-star Rooms and apartments at the Podsreda Castle.

A scenic 5 km long road leads to the castle, suitable for all types of vehicles, as well as a cycling route from Podsrede. You can also visit the castle on foot, along the 2.5 km long interactive Podsreda Castle Trail from the Podsreda market square.

Whether you are a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique and memorable experience, this medieval castle is sure to captivate and inspire you.
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The History of the Podsreda Castle

Hörberg or Herberch, as the castle was once called, is one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Slovenia, as its medieval core has remained virtually unchanged over the centuries.

Its architectural history dates back to the 12th century when during the Romanesque period it experienced four independent and completely visible construction phases. Thus, the castle ranks among the most monumental properties in Slov¬enia but also enjoys a privileged position among Europe’s medieval castles.

“The most castle-like Slovenian castle” can be traced back to the 12th century when the northern wing was built around 1150 and the tall defensive tower or bergfried in 1180, the southern wing in 1220, and the tower with the chapel in 1260; in 1612 the chapel was consecrated by the Bishop of Ljubljana Tomaž Hren to Saint Philip, Jacob and Anna.

The castle’s original name Hörberg or Herberch reminds us of the old age of the building, since it means “shelter”, where sanctuary was sought by soldiers in case of danger, while today’s name Podsre¬da has no connection with the original name and probably denotes the day, which was very important for the square, since Wednesday (“sreda”) was a market and court day in Podsreda square.

The land on which the cas¬tle stands was owned by the Counts of Friesach-Zeltsch¬ach as early as around 1000 and later came into the posses¬sion of Countess Emma of Gurk. In 1042, she founded the fe¬male Benedictine monastery in Gurk in Carinthia, where she also resided; the monastery later inherited her entire wealth.

After her death in 1045, the monastery was dissolved and the property passed into the ownership of the newly estab¬lished Diocese of Gurk.

Even though the castle was built in the mid-12th century, it was first mentioned in written sources in 1213.

In the first half of the 14th century the castle was bought by Frederick, Lord of Sanneck, and re¬mained in the ownership of the Counts of Celje until their passing. As the successors of the Counts of Celje, the ownership passed to the Hab¬sburgs, who rented it out. The leaseholders and stewards of the castle changed frequently. In 1617, Count Sigmund von Tattenbach bought the castle. In 1701, the castle was inherited by Coun¬tess Eleonora E. Barbo, and upon her death, by her daughter Maria H. of Apfaltrern, and in 1787 by Baron Franz Lazarini. Sometime before 1848, the estate was bought by Prince Weriand of Windisch- Graetz, who gave the castle its present-day image. The castle remained in the hands of the family until the end of the Second World War, when it was nationalized.

The Kozjansko Regional Park

Podsreda castle is located in the heart of the protected area of the Kozjansko Regional Park. The castle is a monument of local importance owned by the Kozje Municipality. In 1983, the castle’s management was taken over by the Kozjansko Regional Park. The same year its systematic renovation began, accompanied by a rich revival program, which unites the Romanesque heritage with modern art.
Podsreda castle, “Slovenia’s most royal castle”, is one of the few cultural monuments originating from the Romanesque period in Slovenia that in the past 40 years, thanks to its complete renovation, has become an essential holder of cultural, promotional, educational, social and tourist events.

More about the Kozjansko Regional Park

Kozjansko Regional Park is one of the oldest and largest protected areas in the country. Located at the junction of the Alpine and Pannonian worlds in eastern Slovenia, between the Sotla river and the Bohor range, it covers 206 km² and has the status of a regional park. Centuries of coexistence between man and nature have created habitats of great conservation value and helped to preserve many plant and animal species known elsewhere only from books.
The region's landscape is characterized by its still-preserved high-trunk orchards, dry wild meadows, beech forests, and wet meadows along the Sotla river. The Kozjansko apple has become more than a fruit - it is a symbol of preserved nature, tradition, and the protected area's distinctive character.

The Kozjansko Regional Park boasts exceptional biodiversity and 70% of it belongs to the European Natura 2000 network, which aims to preserve biodiversity for future generations. Since 2010, Kozjansko Regional Park has also been part of a wider region that enjoys the status of a biosphere area under the Man and Biosphere (MAB) program of UNESCO. The Kozjansko and Obsotelje Biosphere Reserve is managed by the Kozjansko Park Institute.

In 2021, the Kozjansko Regional Park was the first in Slovenia to receive the UNESCO-Greece Melina Mercouri International Prize, which is awarded for outstanding action in the protection and management of the world’s cultural landscapes.

Regarding cultural heritage, Kozjan Park is also a landscape of many faces. Podsreda Castle and many other mighty castles, churches, medieval squares, archaeological sites, and the heritage of everyday life stir the imagination and call for exploration.

With its varied landscape, Kozjansko Regional Park is interesting for visitors in all seasons. In spring, it offers flowering gardens, orchards, and meadows; in summer, numerous park activities and events; in autumn, the traditional Kozjan Apple Festival; and in winter, the peace of unspoilt nature.

Presentation film about the Kozjansko Regional Park

Introducing a presentation film about Kozjansko Regional Park. Showcasing the beautiful nature and biodiversity of our protected area and, of course, the rich cultural heritage of the diverse Kozjansko landscape.

The film was made by Matej Vranič, a renowned Slovenian nature photographer and filmmaker.
The film was partly produced under the project LIFE Naturaviva.

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