Velenje / Slovenia
Velenje Castle as one of the most well preserved castles in Slovenia was first mentioned in 1270. It got its present look by renovation in the 16th century under ownership of the Wagen Counts. One of them, Baltazar Wagen, was a Protestant. Since 1957 is used as a seat of the Velenje Museum.
Velenje Castle is one of the more preserved castles in Slovenia and was first mentioned in 1270. Today’s look is a result of thorough renovation by the Wagen counts, the owners in the 16th century. Hans Wagen gained possession of the castle in 1541 after the death of the previous owner Franc Lichtenberg. Both the previous owner, as well as Hans’ son Baltazar are mentioned as the followers of Luther’s new teaching. To this Protestant faith belonged also the owners of the Velenje Castle at the turn of the century, as well as in the first half of the 17th century, namely Baltazar Herič and the counts Sauer. One of the beautiful details of the Renaissance castle is a rosette which can be found at the top of the crossbeam of the main entrance, bearing the year 1558. Its primary purpose was decorative, but perhaps there was a mystical-symbolic meaning connecting the mystical time of the origin of the entrance with the position of the rosette – which forces a visitor to walk under it. “To walk under the flower” meant “to be under the seal of silence”. This flower was also used in his own coat-of-arms by Martin Luther.
After World War II the castle was under social ownership and a lot of its interior was destroyed. The building started to decay. After World War II the castle was under general social ownership and at first hosted apartments for miners and their families.
The headquarter of Velenje Museum is in Velenje Castle. It offers ten permanent museum and gallery exhibitions, as well as interesting temporary exhibitions to its visitors. In addition to all the collections that teach visitors about the local history, František Foit’s African collection is particularly worth mentioning, as it is one of the three most important African collections in Slovenia. Collections of the remains of a mastodon and modern Slovenian art are also worth pointing out.
Additional touristic information
Summer working hours (1 April–31 October):
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM. In August open from Monday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Closed on Mondays.
Winter working hours (1 November–31 March):
Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Closed on Mondays.
Telephone: 03 898 26 30
GSM: 041 398 156