Gornja Radgona (castle)
Ober Radkersburg

12th century

Radgona was one of the main Styria's defence posts against Hungary. Castle was built soon after 1147 but in any case before 1182 (ante ecclesiam Rachersburch) when it already carried personal name of its builder or castellan, some Ratigoj or Richer (original German name of the castle was Richersburg), ministerial of teritorial lord (margrave of Styria). At the time a small settlement with the same name was formed under the castle and then developed into a town in 13th century. Because the importance of the castle and the town many respectable castellans lived on the castle, that is noblemen with armed subjects. In 1211 Radgona parish is mentioned and in 1213 Rategoyspurch in Gebehardus offitialis de Ratigoyspurch. The same year also knights Poppo et Liutoldus miles de Ratigoyspurch are mentioned.
Provincial prince's office in Gornja Radgona is not noted in land register of Babenberg from around 1230 because the dominion was probably leased, but it is mentioned in land register from 1265. It had 40 subservient villages with 355 farms. In 1269 Gornja Radgona castle is for the first time explicitly mentioned as vest Rakherspurg. Dominion was at least from 13th century onwards administered in a town and emperors leaseholders were on the castle. Soon a fortification was built in the town which is in mediaeval sources named the same as the castle. In 1363 the castle is along with yeomen (knights Ortolf and Henrik of Lindek, Konrad noble Schwabau and Wulfing der Kelz) mentioned as free estate vest Rakerspurch. It later became a property of (probably by marriage) Ulrik Sefner. Between 1389 and 1392 its owner was bishop of Krško Johan who sold it to Friderik of Stutenberg. Stutenberg reconstructed the castle in around 1420 and enlarged the estate at the same time. When Friderik's grandson Hans of Stutenberg in 1468 (1469) joined with his father in law Andrej Baumkircher in fight against emperor Friderik IV., citizens of Gornja Radgona, who were on emperor's side, attacked and took over the castle. Stutenberg had to denounce the estate and the emperor joined it with his office in town.
In 1470 emperor gave the castle to Žiga of Polheim and when he was captured by Turks in a battle dominion administration was taken over by his brother Andrej. In 1478 Andrej gave the castle to Jörg Weissenecker but only a year later, in 1479, it was occupied by Hungarian king Matija Korvin. It was only after his death in 1490 when his commander Jakob Szekely returned the castle to the emperor.
Castle was from that time onwards managed by emperor's stewards or managers: in 1492 Matthäus, bishop of Seckau, in 1494 Heinrich noble Eberbach, in 1496 Hanns noble Eberbach, in 1501 Wolfgangnoble Graben and in 1505 Seifried noble Mettnitz. During 16th century provincial princes rented the castle to various noble families, among them were in 1530 Margareta Preiner, in 1532 Ahac Mettnitzer, a year later to Rosina, widow of Hans of Ivnik and her children, in 1547 to Adam noble Trautmansdorff and in 1551 to Žiga of Herberstein. In 1572 Gabriel Strein leased the castle from emperor for the amount of 10000 fl. and 1000 fl. of building money and a year later he got the castle to lease for life for the amount of 20000 fl. with additional clause which stated that the emperor will return money if someone would banish hism from the fortress not by his guilt, while the contract was valid. In the following decades the castle was thoroughly reconstructed.
In 1614 castle leaseholder was Hans Žiga noble Schrottenbach and in 1621 Gotfrid baron noble Stadl. After his death emperor Ferdinand II. sold the dominion to Hans Ulrik, prince of Eggenberg, in 1623. The castle, which meanwhile lost its strategic defensive position due to use of new fire arms, remained in property of the family until 1717 when Ana Eleonora, sister of last prince of Eggenberg, brought the castle as dowry to her third husband, Leopold, count of Herberstein and he did not take over the dominion until 1776; previously he payed it off to the nuns of the order of St.Clare who leased it for a while. In 1789 he sold the castle along with the dominion to Franc Hožef, count of Wurmbrand. His heirs were owners until 1914 when they sold it to Karl, count of Chorinsky. In 1931 the estate was fragmented and sold and the castle was taken over by ban's administration in Ljubljana with intent to rearrange the castle into humanitarian institution for the disabled. In battles in 1945 northern wing was destroyed but was renewed soon after the war. In the castle was also primary school and only a decade ago apartments and nowadays it is leased fo 99 years to local resident Milan Herzog who renovates the building. Also a wedding hall is arranged in the castle.

As an interesting fact let me mention that the name of the castle is not in any way connected to a wheel which can be found in Radgona's coat-of-arms (German Rad means wheel) because the name Radigoj is of Slovene origin.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Prekmurjem in porečjem Dravinje", Založba Park, Ljubljana, 1991, ISBN /
Kos, Dušan, Dr.: "Vitez in Grad", Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, ISBN 961-6500-82-1
TIC Radgona - Grad Gornja Radgona
Contact details:
Web links:
TIC Radgona - Gornja Radgona castle
Shows and entertainment:
Various events, also weddings, for more see website http://www.tic-radgona.si
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 40.979' E 15° 58.939'


Northern wall
Juncture of storeyed auxiliary wing with central castle building
Parts of castle masonry not covered by facade bear witness of older, mediaeval basis of castle building
Continuation of northern wall
View of castle from east
Southern wall
Southern wall where storeyed wing joins with central castle building
Entrance portal is made of stone, semicircularly concluded with rectangular rustic frame
Opening for drawbridge chains are still preserved in portal
Above it is coat-of-arms of Herbersteins and underneath a stone inscription plate with a message that Herberstein thoroughly renovated the castle in 1775
Contemporary wickets paneled with sheet metal
Baroque ornaments near keyhole
Entrance leads us through tha hall to the courtyard surrounded by singlestoreyed auxiliary wings
Enclosed ramp leads from the courtyard obliquely upward towards the portal of inner castle; portal is in its core from Renaissance, semicircularly concluded and got its new architectonic frame in Baroque; access to inner castle was also once protected with drawbridge
In portal's attic again coat-of-arms of Herbersteins can be found but compined with coat-of-arms of counts of Eggenberg, where three concentrically placed crows use beaks to hold the crown (photo: Brane Lončar)
Through the entrance wing we access inner courtyard where ground-floor is arched on all four sides; vaults are carried by strong stone columns with square or rectangular cross-section, with profiled basis and capitals
Instead of vaults richly articulated Renaissance-revival two-light windows are used in first floor and three-light windows on top floor (even one four-light window (quadrifora) can be found in eastern facade)
Top of inner castle is concluded by nice turret equiped with working clock
Wine sellar, quite empty for now
Interesting door in basement near wine sellar
Another wine sellar (on the right)
Corridor under vaults of northern wing
Former well, 56 meters deep in its time, is supposedly pointed out under the arches of (western) wing
Eastern wing; Renaissance-revival vaulted corridors were built in 1931 by ban's administration in Ljubljana
Inner courtyard indicates happening of events; in the floor of entrance tower a regular rectangular window with profiled frame is visible
Two-light and three-light windows of artificial stone were arranged in 1931 by ban's administration in Ljubljana
Hallway in eastern wing is decorated with photos of renovation works an castle and others
On the outside of parish church in Radgona supposedly tombstone of liegeman of Gornja Radgona, Ahac Mittnitzer, is embedded, but I could not find it, but these two are among most interesting; the first carries the year 1632
A year 1629 is chisled into the plate
Painted wood in one of the rooms in ground floor of the castle (photo: Brane Lončar)
Fish pond near the park which in great part surrounds the castle(photo: Brane Lončar)
Gornja Radgona castle; copper engraving from Vischer's Topographia Styriae, around 1681
Castle in Gornja Radgona on colored lithography by C.Reicherta
Ferdinand Runk - Johannes Ziegler, Gornja Radgona; colored copper engraving, detail, around 1802, Regional museum of Styria in Graz