Bogenšperk (castle)

16th Century

In the year 1463 (even a year earlier according to Valvasor) first mentioning of Wagner family (but not explicitly the castle) is encountered reffering to Balthasar - Boltežar Wagen. His son Bertold is testified as owner of the castle in 1477. So it is certain that the origins of castle are linked to the Wagner family which also owned estates in Styria. By marriage of Balthasar to Veronika of Lichtenberg family Wagner gained estates of the near Lichtenberg by the end of 15th century and joined both estates into single estate.
It is understood that castle was built by Erazen Wagen somewhere between earhquake in 1511 (which also heavily damaged Lichtenberg) and his death in 1522. First mentioning of Bogenšperk explicitly is from year 1533 when the castle housekeeper Jurij Benčič - Jorg Wentschitsch phleger zu Wagensperg if referred. Next mentioning is from 1544 when Hans Wagen zu Wagensperg is referred.
Krištof Wagen's last son, Jurij, wanted to give the castle to St.augustins monks where he lived ill for the timebeing but things didn't go as he planned. After his death in 1630 castle ownership was handed,because of Jurij's debts, first to his biggest creditor Horacij Carminelli and afterwards to Krištof Gottschedt and Jurij Kheysell followed by his son Franc Albreht Kajzel. He sold old Lichtenberg and Bogensperk estates to Janez Vajkrd Valvasor and his wife on september 27th 1672, but famous historian had to sold both estates in 1692 because of his debt which was mostly because of issuing his book "Slava Vojvodine Kranjske" (Glory of Duchy Kranjska). A lot of different owners followed, Janez Andrej pl., afterwards his daughter Marija Frančiška Ivana married Hoffern, Mihael Skubej from 1774,Janez Štefan Wogathay from 1791 and Weriand prince Windischgrätz from 1853 to the end on world war II. Between WWII the castle was aggressors post. Between the years 1949 and 1964 it was home of jesuits and after 1972 reconstruction began and the castle was gradually altered into museum building with restaurant.
Whenever we talk about Bogenšperk, J.V.Valvasor is also mentioned. His most important work is book "Slava Vojvodine Kranjske" (Glory of Duchy Kranjska) which was issued in Nürnberg in 1689. Valvasor was also owner of extensive library but had to sell it in 1692 to jesuit monks from Zagreb because of his financial downfall. He sold castle the same year and moved to Krško where he died in 1693.
These days castle offers a view in life and work of J.V.Valvasor. There are also a few theme rooms and expositions which unfortunatelly do not illustrate era of Valvasor's life in castle. Weddings, which are something special, are also organized on the castle. I should also mention few collections and theme rooms: "witch" room,"wedding" room, "costumes", geology collection, geodetic collection,...

Javni zavod Bogenšperk: "Bogenšperk - Dobrodošli na Gradu", brochure
Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Gradovi na Slovenskem", Cankarjeva založba, 1987, ISBN 86-361-0280-4
Contact details:
Javni zavod Bogenšperk
Tomazinova ulica 2
1275 Šmartno pri Litiji
Tel.: 01 898 78 67, 01 898 76 64 or 041 703 992
Web links:
Bogenšperk Castle: Valvasor collection
Shows and entertainment:
Concerts of classic music and choirs, annual Valvasor's knightly games as part of a mediaeval day every first Sunday in September.
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 1.419' E 14° 51.433'


View of the castle at the front fence
Atrium, the main entrance on the left
Atrium, the view of the old well and tavern »Krčma«
Arcade in the first floor, the ceiling is painted
Anteroom in the first floor in front of the door to the Wedding Hall
The Wedding Hall, Valvasor coat of arms visible in the background
The Witchcraft room, superstition according to the folk lore
View of the castle, left of the entrance to the castle
The so-called »Marriage room«
Terrace in the first floor above the entrance to the castle
The same terrace, view in the opposite direction
The balcony precisely above the main entrance
Valvasor's cabinet with four marble pillars'
Printing room with a press, the wooden ceiling is still preserved
Valvasor's desk (not an original)
»The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola« (original) and a replica of Valvasor's book of the land's coats of arms
Atrium, view towards the southeast
Tower, used to be a whole floor higher (according to some, even for two floors higher)
Tower, Valvasor wrote that it fell victim to many lightning strikes
Round tower on the corner
View of the castle from the southeast
View towards the main entrance
Another view towards the main entrance, lightning rods are visible, which proves many lightning strikes to the castle
View of the northern wall of the castle
View of the rock structure behind the castle, which shows the rock foundation that serves as reinforcement against earthquakes
Bogenšperk on an old postcard (1908)