Krško (castle of Friderik of Cilli)

12th century

Krško castle (German: Gurckfeld, literally Krka's field, Gurck is a Germanized word for Krka) was built early but not already in 895 when king Arnulf granted among other things also his property in Posavje region - predium ultra fluvium Sowam Gurcheuelt nun cupato to his vasal Waltun who before had the same property as a feudal estate. It is possible that a smaller fortification was standing above the future town on a cliff of Gora at the end of 10th century and has grown into a bigger castle in 11th and 12th century. The first indirect mentioning of the castle when the first from the line of knights of Krško Perhtoldus de Gurchewelt is mentioned who is then or in the next decades followed by Ortolf, Reginar, Swiker and Walther. Dušan Kos indicates that in this case these are Bavarian counts of Bogen who expanded the castle and pawned it in 1189 (this is also the year of the first explicit mentioning of the castle as castrum Gurkeuelt) and in 1202 (castrum Gurkvelde) left the castle to archdiocese of Salzburg but immediatelly received the castle back as a feudal estate which they can use until they die out. Counts of Bogen have released castle management to their ministerials which are in the sources named after the castle (from the year 1154). In 1246 archbishop of Salzburg granted them all the rights of his ministerial castellans about feudal estates, marriages etc. At the time ministerials of Krško were in disposal of feudal estates, houses in and at the castle of Krško, with patrimonial judicature, the right to spend the night in any village and especially important was the promise that domestic ministerials will not be replaced by a foreign person by archbishop regarding management of the castle and dominion.
Importance of Krško nobility is lessened in the following centuries and already in the first half of 14th century lords of Svibno are in a role of castle lords and also lords of Ptuj. Latter resigned their shares to counts of Cilli before 1351 and sometime until 1368 also lords of Svibno did the same. The castle was if the hands of counts of Cilli until 1456 when the lineage of Celje (Cilli) has died out when the castle became a property of provincial prince. Two years later Frederic III. of Habsburg has granted the castle to Katarina, widow of Ulrik until her death which is in detail but very uncritically described by unknown author in Chronicles of Counts of Cilli.
There are no more reports about the further fate of the castle and dominion in the 16th century but at the end of the era archduke Karel sold the castle to Krištof Ugnad in 1593. After that among the owners we can find Janez Krstnik baron Valvasor and his cousin Inocenc baron Moscon and Moscons were succeeded by Magdalena countess of Strassoldo in 1672. Her son Orfej whose chaplain was supposedly drunk and has along with the horse drowned in Sava river, has in 1695 sold the dominion to Katarina Elizabeta countes of Auersperg, née Ursini - Blagaj.
Auerspergs were the owners of the dominion and the castle throughout the 19th century but the castle began to decay. According to information provided by father Florentin Hrovat certain Jakob Auersperg merged estate of Krško with Turn mansion. Majda Smole who states a lot of owners from Auersperg lineage for the time namely doesn't know Jakob but we cannot dispute information by pundit father. More preferential lowland location of Šrajbarski turn was the reason to slowly abandon Krško castle and leave it to its decay because its historical role has already been played. Nevertheless we can still deduce its ground plan at the beginning of 19th century from a famous map of Sava river by Žerovec whilst of Wagner's lithography from the mid 19th century the castle is decpicted in ruins.

Ruins area is nowadays mostly overgrown and the hilltop offers us a nice sightseeing and hiking point.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v osrednji Sloveniji - II. Dolenjska (Med Bogenšperkom in Mokricami), Viharnik, Ljubljana, 2001, ISBN 961-6057-28-6
Contact details:
Web links:
Valvasor's library Krško
Krško castle (Wikipedia)
Shows and entertainment:
GPS coordinates:
N 45° 58.335' E 15° 28.902'


Southern, exposed side of which a lot of rocks has already separated
Terrain configuration on the hilltop bares witness to the extend of the ruins
East wall above the precipitous part
Opening at the bottom of the wall
Northeastern exposed wall
View of a settlement from the hill
Hill where once a formidable castle was standing
Krško castle in Valvasor's Topographia
A 3D reconstruction; author Rok Kranjc
A 3D reconstruction; author Rok Kranjc