Krancelj (tower, propugnaculum)

14th century

Tower on Krancelj is mentioned for the first time in 1315 as turris antique super castrum even if we can place its origin to the end of 12th or the begining of the 13th century, based on its architectural characteristics. It represents a typical case of exposed tower - propugnaculum which task was to protect the access to central castle building. Krancelj thus protected the access to Wildenlack in Old Loka. Until 14th century they shared common, later independent castellan who was also resident of the tower. At the time the tower was thoroughly reconstructed. Evidence of such supposed works are findings of many architectural details, mainly stone window and door frames dating to mature Gothic era. In the excavation works they found numerous small items as figurative bronze candlestick from 14th century, bronze ring, mediaeval glazed tiles, blacksmith's products and pottery.
At the excavation works inside castle defence walls remains of constructed staircase were found at eastern side of the tower, outline of fireplace and some undefinable building of circular ground plan but no technical documentation was issued regarding these findings. In view of in straight lines laid, coarsely chisled stones it seems that the tower and defence walls are of Romanesque origin. Stopar quotes that the portal in the defence wall had on the ground of doorposts two semicircularly shaped bound-stones which dates its origin not until 16th century. This places a question if maybe defence wall also dates to 16th century or is it merely a change of older frayed Romanesque wall. As it is known an earthquake in 1511 destroyed or demolished a great number of castles in this area among which Krancelj was no exception. Maybe we can place origins of portal (ansd also defence walls?) to the time of after-earthquake reconstruction.
Also at the tower were buildings which were never exactly identified. Older literature mentions fireplace, blacksmith, staircase and some other walls.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v osrednji Sloveniji - Med Polhovim Gradcem in Smlednikom", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1998, ISBN 961-6057-18-9
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Bottles and fireplaces tells that this spot is a popular gathering place of youth from Škofja Loka.
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 9.818' E 14° 18.188'


Scheme is surrounded by 5 meters deep moat; on the north side a fill is leading throungh the moat to outer defence wall; maybe a drawbridge was once located here?
Defence moat; view at access to the west
Once a fair meter thick northern defence wall with entrance and smaller stairs
First, lower levelled level behind defence wall on north
Cistern located on second levelled level inside castle scheme; outside an outer ring is located or in ground buried filter which is also confirmed by preserved, at renovation of complex superstructured ring of water shaft in the middle
View towards south-west from the place of cistern
Eastern corner of inner, approximately rectangular tower with sides 13 x 13,20 and 13 x 13,35 meters, which was three or four storeys high
Southern corner which is after renovation again ruined
View on crossing between south defence wall and southern wall of tower
Southern wall of defence wall; both defence wall and tower are built from regularly shaped hewed stones laid in straight lines
Walls of the tower are 2,60 meters thick in average; view of north-western wall
Inner southern corner
Stairs leading to the inside of the tower
Moat with defence wall left on south-western side
Outer defence wall, south-west
Another view of a moat