"Branik: Castle on the Hill" Ljubljana Off The Beaten Path Tip by xuessium
Ljubljana Off The Beaten Path: 160 reviews and 258 photos
The village of Branik is west of Ljubljana and it really isn't on any tourist trail. There are a number of vineyards here though and the town is nestled in a valley surrounded by a ring of mountains. Rather picturesque (especially when viewed from the watchtower!)
The main focal point of the town is Grad Rihemberk (Branik). [Branik means a fortress. The Branik village was thus developed under the castle hill and was defended by the castle.]
Settlements on the hill above the village of Branik dates back to prehistoric times. A Roman fortress has been reported. Grad Rihemberk was first mentioned in 1230 and was built by its namesake, the Rihemberk Knights. In 1500, the estate became property of the Austrian Habsburg family, where it remained until 1528, or, according to some sources, until 1649 when the castle became property of the Lanthieri family. The Lanthieri Counts added the palatio in 1649. The residential part was later added to the inner wall-circle and a courtyard was formed. On the night of 22 July 1944, the Partisans burnt it to prevent the Germans from using it. Ammunition stored in it exploded and the castle was seriously damaged. It was later reconstructed.
The castle, in some places, still shows Romanesque elements. The main round tower is from 13th century. The wall is from Renaissance time. And the corner round towers were added in 16th century. The castle residence shows evidence of beautiful baroque elements. And the castle chapel has gothic characteristics. The final look of the castle is from 17th and 18th century, a beautiful baroque residence, it also had a baroque garden outside the castle?s South wall.
Today the castle is property of the Slovenian state, and in 1999 it was declared a Slovenian Heritage Monument. The castle and the surrounding area are, since then, strictly protected area. The castle is visitable with appointments, and it is open up till Sep on Sat, Sun and Public Holidays, 1-7pm (entry fee: 400 SIT). Evening concerts and performances are organized during Jul and Aug.
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