Brežice (castle)

16th century

On a steep pier at a dead branch of a river of former confluence of rivers Sava and Krka at the end of the town with the same name lies Brežice castle. Slovene name of the town and the castle is probably older than German name and also has the same meaning: smal slope (Rain). In the middle ages one of the centers of Salzburg estates in Posavje was here. In a document dated 9th February 1241, issued in Brežice, in which archbishop of Salzburg Eberhard donated meny feuds to younger Ortolf, named Vulpis and as witnesses are mentioned ministerials Ringel and Prehtel de Rein, first known castellans of Brežice. In 1249 the castle explicitly is mentioned as castrum Rayne. In 1252 a mint was testified on a castle and in 1268 the caslr gets full judicial right over its subjects. Henrik of Svibno - Planina became the castellan in 1277 and remained in that position until 1284.
In the land register from 1309 we can find information about how many farms were under uffice of Brežice at the time, what were the incomes of castellans, guards, gatekeeper etc. (see Stopar, 1993 for detailed information). In 1322 when the castle is refered to as castrum Raein in land register lords of the castle were castellans Eckart from Lipnica, Herman from Čretež (Lisce?) and Fritzl from SlovenjGradec. Local resident Mentel began to build his onw tower in the town the same year.
Managers of archbishop's dominion in Brežice in the first half of 15th century were Žiga of Dobrna (1425-1427), Oton of Radovljica (before 1443) and Janez of Rajhenburg (1444-1449). In the second half of 15th century the managers were Višprijski (Weisspriach) Žiga (1450-1458), Hans (1458) and Klavž (1464). In 1457 archbishop gave the castles in Brežice dominion ti Viljem Reisperger in feud. In 1478 pawnee of Brežice was archbishop's brother-in-law Andrej Kraig, and between 1466 and 1482 Jernej Mindorfer from Mehovo is mentioned in Brežice who also bought one of the town's towers. In the town and in town's defence walls was at the time more than ten towers; archbishops accelerated their construction because with towers the defence of Brežice was much stronger.
At the time of Turkish wars, especially between 1471 and 1496 the fortification played a significant role because here were one of the door through which Turkish troops were invading our territories. In 1479 archbishops of Salzburg, who were in dispute with emperor, handed over the castle to their allies Hungars and is remained in their hands until the death of Matija Korovin in 1490. One year later, when peace was made in Bratislava (Požun) the castle became the property of provincial prince. As castellans we meet between 1563 and 1568 Ludvik noble Ungnad, in 1586 Franc Galla noble Gallenstein, after his death in 1604 Ludvik noble Frankopan and in 1694 count Ignac Marija Attems. Castle remained in the hands of Attems family until the last war after which it was nationalized.

Brežice castle was severely damaged in peasant revolt in 1515. The rebels attacked, conquered and burned the castle and the castle residents were killed. They chopped of the heads of the deceased and carry the heads for several days later on poles. After this devastation Brežice castle could not recover. Emperor Ferdinand hence approved 3000 goldinars in 1529 for construction and reinforcement of the town. Construction of a new castle, maybe on the same place as the old one was, began in 1530 and finished in 1590 (they were building the castle for the whole 60 years). There is no more traces of the original mediaeval castle and the present building carries in its design and its detail a mark of mature Renaissance era. I should note here that I decided to evident the castle into the period of its origin, therefore in the 16th century, and not in the period of the first mentioning of the previous castle. When the works were in progress numerous domestic, Croatian and Italian architects were collaborating among them famous Italian architects, brothers Andrej and Domenico del'Allio. Baroque era works from the time of count Ignac Attems were mainly concentrating on arranging facades, solemn staircase, chapel and a big knights' hall.

Between World War I the castle was arranged as a military hospital and after World War II it was a residence for company Vino Brežice and 26 families. From 1949 Museum of Posavje from Brežice has its collections on display on the castle. They also began to gradually reconstruct the castle. At first the reconstruction work was done on the interior and later on the exterior but at any time the works were in accordance with monument preservation principles and needs of the museum. Nowadays all places except the sellar are intended for the museum and cultural events.

* In the list of the castles an aerial photo of the castle is used from the site, author is not stated.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Kozjanskim in porečjem Save", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1993, ISBN 961-6057-00-6
Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Razvoj srednjeveške grajske arhitekture na slovenskem štajerskem", Slovenska matica Ljubljana, 1977
Kos, Dušan, Dr.: "Vitez in Grad", Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, ISBN 961-6500-82-1
Marjan Gregorič - Mitja Guštin: Posavki muzej Brežice (Zbirka vodnikov, št. 108), Založba Obzorja, Ljubljana, 1990, ISBN 86-377-0070-5
Kako živijo slovenski gradovi: Brežice; dokumentarna oddaja, 20.12.2005
Contact details:
Posavski muzej Brežice
Cesta prvih borcev 1
8250 Brežice, Slovenija
Telefon: + 386 7 466 05 17
Fax: +386 7 466 05 16
Spletna stran:
Web links:
Brežice castle (
Museum of Posavje, Brežice
Festival Brežice
Everything about Brežice and surroundings
Zavod za turizem občine Brežice
Shows and entertainment:
Among the most known belong traditional festival Brežice (, for other events you should visit attached web links
GPS coordinates:
N 45° 54.102' E 15° 35.553'


Southern wing
Castle towers are 4 meters thick in the ground floor and were once equiped with arrow-loops which are now walled-up
Remains of the defence wall which we can also find around the castle on its west side
View of a castle from west direction; view goes through vegetation between which we can see dried out riverbed, a reminder of former confluence of rivers Sava and Krka (see older depictions)
Outer facade of the western wing
With wood enclosed dormer window which is inclined towards the inside of the north-western tower
North-eastern tower
Eastern wing
Doors in the ground floor of eastern wing which leads from outside to wine sellar; unfortunately dating is unknown but for sure no passage was here at the time of castle's construction
Entrance Renaissance portal is grooved, secondarily somewhat extended with openings for chains of the drawbridge; it is emphasized by frame with rustic - diamond shaped pilasters with even, profiled beam and a year 1584 on a lintel
Above the beam a younger relief is embedded with coat of arms of Galla family (unicorn), held by griffins; above the relief a roofed inscription plate is located
Courtyard rustic portal with coat of arms of Galla family on a keystone
Castle courtyard with a well; once arranged as a castle garden
Simple single-storeyed wing with wine sellar in the ground floor and knights' hall in the first floor
Southern wing, in front of it a constructed passage terace with a green plot is standing
Northern and eastern wing with visible sun dials
Sun dial on eastern wing is supposedly measuring time in the forenoon
And sun dial on the north wing in the afternoon
Two-storeyed vaulted lordship wing; in the groun floor cloumns are rectangular with skimmed edges and in the floors columns are round Toscan
Corridor in the ground floor of the wing
Vaulted corridor with cross arches in the first floor
In this floor a heraldic plate is embedded above one of the entrances which states that lord Gall von Gallenstein, owner of Luknja and Brežice castles, this long ago started construction on the border area finished in 1590 with extensive and merited defensive-reinforcing works
Stone Baroque portal, through which we can access the staircase
Portal connecting the courtyard with wine sellar in the eastern wing (with carved year 1547? in the keystone)
Renaissance shaped window on a courtyard side of eastern wing
Differently shaped window in the same wing
A place at the north-western tower
Entrance to the castle sellar in the ground floor of the western wing
Frescos by Ignacij Flurer from around 1720 are so realistic that intermediate column looks like a real one
Staircase with middle landing, connecting floors in the lordship wing
Chapel, located next to the staircase
Ceiling of the staircase
Two storeys high, in 1954 renovated solemn or knights' hall, which is the biggest and among the most beautiful in Slovenia; with frescos, by order of Ignac Attems, supposedly made by master Joannecky; prevailing opinion is that the hall was painted by F. K. Remb
35 meters long, 10 meters wide and 8 meters high, wooden staircases at front walls
Celtic weapons from most important Celtic burial grounds in Posavje: Dobova, Brežice and Mraševo (swords, scissors, hair clips, blades,...)
Earthen stove; a motive, resembling a shell is visible and the same motive also appears on the staircase portal
Excavation on Libna: grave with rich horsing equipment (iron age) - north-western tower
Grave - close up
Stone from a chapel of St.Jurij on Svete gore in Bizeljsko
In the northern wing, which is in its greater part rearranged into ethnological museum, we will find items from every day life of farmers, agriculture, viticulture and famous beehive in an image of soldier
Viticultural part of ethnological collection - north-eastern tower
Fragment of snail-stairs in a room next to south-eastern tower
Copy of tombstone of Croatian feudalist Fran Tahi
Chainmail shirt
Weaponry collection in south-eastern tower
Replica of 16th century armour
Through tight corridor we are passing the collection of national fights and revolution from the eastern wing to the western, where a gallery colleaction is located
Detail of Baroque paintings, found under the roughcast
In the places of gallery collection also permanent exhibition of painter and graphic artist Franjo Stiplovšek is arranged
Brežice borough, view towards north
View towards south on the castle
Outhousing wing, located next to the castle
C. Reichert, Brežice castle, colored lithography, around 1860
City of Brežice, G. M. Vischer (1681)
Castle Brežice, G. M. Vischer (1681)
A 3D reconstruction; author Rok Kranjc