Kamnik (Gornji grad - "Upper castle")
Stein, Oberstain

12th century

Upper castle of Kamnik if indirectly mentioned for the first time in some bestowal document from the years between 1143 and 1147 when count of Andech Bertold II. is mentioned (comes Bertoldus de Stein) and also castellan Karol of Kamnik (Karol de Stein) besides him, who designates Bertold as his master - per manum domini sui Bertoldi comitis de Stein. At the time the castle was managed by its castellans and not by lords of Andech. In 1154 Bertold III. of Andech is mentioned (Berchtoldus de Stein), son of Bertold II. who probably died in the crusades in Palestine because he isn't mentione anymore.
In 1202 first direct mentioning occurs. Bertold, duke of Meran pawned at the time both castles of Kamnik to patriarch of Oglei Peregrin III. - duo castella de Staine along with all estates, farmhans and maidservants, rights and belongings except ministerials, but also his allodia in Carniola and at Vipava in exchange for 1.000 breg marks.
As witnessed by documents lords of Andech stayed in Kamnik a lot and castellans - sometimes there were many of the at the same time - were changing frequently especially on the Upper castle. As a supreme feudal lords who had a castle in feud or pawned are after 1228 lords of Babenberg, Spanheims, Tirol and Habsburgs.
Castle which was a seat for provincial prince's dominion and provincial court of law was populated until around 1576 when a lightning strike killed a daughter of a owner at the time Ahacij Thurn and after that Thurns left the castle and moved first to their house in the town and after to their newly built manor near Komenda - Križ. In 1670, at the time of steward Mihael Žiga Barmsfeld, a roof has collapsed on the castle and this resulted in abandoning the castle. In World War II German soldiers built a concrete bunker in the eastern side of the ruins and on the same place after the war mountaineers from Kamnik built their post which still serves its purpose today.

From the years between 1570 and 1574, when the owner was Franc Thurn, and interesting inventory of castle was preserved. According to writings by Anton Kasper from 1898 and translated by Ludvik Cimperman the inventory was prepares for publishing by gymnasium professor from Kamnik, historian Ivan Zika. His summary can be raed in mentioned literature (Stopar, 1997).

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v osrednji Sloveniji - I. Gorenjska (Območje Kamnika in Kamniške Bistrice)", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1997, ISBN 961-6057-12-X
Contact details:
Web links:
Kamnik castle - some photos from before renovation works (vlaki.net)
Old castle above Kamnik (burger.si)
Shows and entertainment:
Medieval reenactment day every year in the begining of June, for other events see http://turizem.kamnik.si.
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 13.437' E 14° 37.027'


Mountaneering post on eastern part of castle scheme; nowadays an inn named "Grof Andeš" resides in this former post
Western part of castle scheme, where palatium was located
Ruined part of northern supplemental defence wall ring
Ruined north-western tower where in 1208 a castle chapel was located, dedicated to St.John the Baptist (underneath supposedly castle dungeons were located)
View of western part of castle scheme from the elevation where maybe a defence tower - propugnaculom was located before the earthquake in 1511
Castle entrance was located on south-eastern side; above (probably shooting/arrow) loop-hole
Battlements or just ruined loop-holes at the top
Path to inner castle was running through Renaissance pen
Renaissance pen, view from west
We had to pass three doors in a pen before we could reach inner castle; this spot is where the second doors were probably located
Loop-hole near the place where probably second doors were located
Renovated part of supplemental defence ring, surrounding the castle
Last of three "doors" were additionally protected with moat and draw bridge and a part of this pen was just before the entrance protected also with a turret
Entrance to castle courtyard; view from inside
When after the war a mountaineering post was built in castle ruins eastern part of castle was completely destroyed; southern wall on which the post is standing is of Romanesque origin
View on eastern sheer slope and mountaineering post
At the entrance a part of cut stone arch is located on the ground and is probably part of former entrance portal
Loop-hole in the southern wall at the entrance into the inner castle
Renaissance pen, view from west
Part of defence ring which in this part was surrounding pentagonal place
Part of Kamnik and part of Podgorje
View towards Kamnik Alps
Castle tumult in castle core (medieval reenactment day, 2005)
J. V. Valvasor, Old castle above Kamnik