Olimje (monastery/manor)

15th century

At the same place as the present manor is located, supposedly already in the 11th century the castle of Counts of Pilštajn was located. Village Olimje - villa quandam in Marchia in Wolin is mentioned in documents in 1208. In 1329 the leaseholders were Ekhard of Pogrenje and his wife Kunigunda and in 1404 we find in land register from Krško a mentioning of a local tower-shaped court and in 1412 Kunz Winther aus der Wolimel is mentioned. The court was in 1436 leased to Hans Winther by Friderik of Celje and in 1458 it was back in the posession of diocese. In 1495 Štefan Pruckdorfer sold sicz gen. der Wolymell in der Nidern Steyrmarch bey der Zetl to Erhart Mordachs. In 1542 Neža, the widow by Friderik Ray and her son in law, Jurij Apfaltrer reported the tower in Olimje - Turm zu Wollimel with its conveniences and 26 subjects. The following year the court and the estate were bought from church of Krško by Hans Tattenbach who by 1550 (the year is visible on the entrance portal) built a new manor. Tattenbachs were from 1604 as owners of the manor followed by various Croatian nobles until the last among them, Janez Sakhmardi, in 1663 founded the Paulist monastery, hermitian order with its center in nearby Lopoglava in Croatia. Jožef II. within his reforms abolished this "totally depraved and useless for public" monastery in 1782. The manor and the estate, which became the property of court's chamber (religion fund of Styria), were bought by the owner of Podčetrtek Ferdinand count Attems in 1805 but he never used them. From 1785 and all the time until the earthquake in 1974 it was a rectory and between 1820 and 1893 also a school was located in. Counts Attems were in possession until the end of World War II when the manor was nationalized and currently it is in process of denationalisation.

The manor once represented a typical four-winged Renaissance castle building, half fortress half residence, at the corners emphasized with circular towers. Somehow different was only the south tower which had a chapel with characteristic late-gothic window profiles in the floor. The manor was once surrounded by a moat filled with water, over which a drawbridge was leading towards the entrance. Paulists began in 1665 the construction of Baroque church and finished it in ten years. Between 1760 and 1766 they added a chapel rectangularly to the church. They walled in arcades in the storeys on the courtyard and put windows in former dividing openings, on the ground floor the arcades remained but the columns were enclosed so the gained the character of pillars. In the southern tower in a place below the former chapel the pharmacy was arranged and is nowadays considered the greatest remarkableness of the building. They also nicely arranged the surroundings and probably filled up the moat at the begining of the reconstruction/construction works and replaced the drawbridge by a constructed one. By abolishment of the Paulists the prosperity of the monastery has ended. Ignacij Attems demolished north-eastern part of the castle because of the taxes. If we think away the damage by the earthquake in June 1974 the manor remained mostly unchanged from the time of Attems until today.

From the 1990 the Mary's temple and the rectory are being taken care off by a minor brothers of Francis of Assisi - Minorites, who on August 15th 1999, after 217 years revived the monastery. From far a reconstructed Baroque architecture of facade artwork is visible. Currently reconstruction works are in progress on the building.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Gradovi na Slovenskem", Cankarjeva založba, 1987,ISBN 86-361-0280-4
Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Kozjanskim in porečjem Save", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1993, ISBN 961-6057-00-6
Information on the plaque at the monastery
Contact details:
Minoritski samostan
bl. Antona Martina Slomška
Olimje 82
3254 Podčetrtek
Telefon: +386 (0)3 5829-161
E-mail: ernest.benko@rkc.si
Web links:
Slomšek's places - Olimje
Shows and entertainment:
Guided tour of the pharmacy is possible for pre-scheduled groups at the arranged time and every half hour for individuals. For information about events I recommend a visit to the page www.turizem-podcetrtek.si.
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 9.002' E 15° 33.783'


View to a single-aisle Mary's church with rectangularly attached chapel
Church portal with visible year 1675, which tells of the time of its construction
An immense altar is located in presbytery, one of the largest "golden" altars in Slovenia
Presbytery of the chapel dedicated to St. Frančišek Ksaverij; painted by Anton Lerchinger; author of the photo is Matjaž Založnik
Entrance south-east portal with the year 1550; still visible are grooves of the drawbridge which once enabled the access to the manor
Western tower
View from west
View of a manor from the east
Fish pond, probably created based on a former water moat, which once surrounded the manor
Eastern tower
Arched corridor in the ground floor
Chocolate manufacture, located close to the manor
Older building south-east from the castle
View of the manor from "Jelenov greben" ("Deer's crest")
Garden south-east from the manor; author of the photo is Matjaž Založnik
Pharmacy in the ground floor of the southern tower with restored paintings from 1780, work of Anton Lerchinger; author of the photo is Matjaž Založnik
Olimje on copper engraving from Vischer's Topographia of Duchy Styria, around the year 1681