Pakenštajn (old castle Paka, court)

14th century

Near the outfall of river Paka into river Savinja Hartnid from Ort had his estate. Just before he died he donated two farms from this estate in 1262 to monastery in Gornji drad and in 1264 Hartnid of Ptuj supposedly rented those two farms to brothers of Kacenštajn. In 1339 Konrad and Ortolf of Hornek sold "tower near Šmartno" to Friderik of Žovnek for the amount of 126 marks os silver. So this year marks the first direct mentioning of the estate. In 1416 Henrik Apfaltrer in his and his brother's name denounced the tower (der türen an der Pak), which was his heritage, in the benefit of count of Celje who later the center and headquarters Pakenštajn (purkstal vnd gesezz Pakenstain) rented out to Hans Maisenreiter on June 18th 1419. In the year 1443 Maisenreiter's widow Wendel left al her estates to the counts because her husband was in their debt in amount of 15.000 pounds. In 1456 when counts of Celje died out, Pakenštajn became property of provincial prince and in 1458 emperor Friderik gave it as feud to Kunigunda, daughter of Herman of Ekenštajn and wife of Jörga Globitzer. Even if the tower and the court are mentioned in a document, actually what was meant was one building with tower characteristics. In 1468 court near Paka is mentioned and in 1491 again the tower.
Even before 1635 Regina Globitzer sold the small dominion to Elias Andrian but already in 1599 Jernej and in 1614 Maksimiljan Herić are named by the building Pakenštajn (zu Packenstein). They gained the estate by dowry. In 1727 according to parish register Marija Šarlota and Marija Barbara noble Modersheim (domina in Pakenstein) carry the name of the dominion Pakenštajn. Owner at the time J. noble Modersheimu was followed from around 1778 to 1807 Sattelbergers, then until 1827 by Anton Johan noble Grandi and after him Franc Leitner until 1834. In 1848 owner at the time Jožef Vincenc Novak constructed near outbuildings new mansion in a form of classicistic provincial villa. In 1870 the estate was taken over by Oskar baron noble Warsberg who two years later took off decaying roof off the castle and left it to its destiny.

Old story tells that counts of Celje had their "Jungferzwinger" on Pakenštajn castle. Even at the end of the 19th century there were supposedly existing sellar in which stolen young girls were disappearing. A word about sellar, although wine sellar, can be found in a bulletin of research camp Šmartno ob Paki 2002, where the architecture group gathered in their report: »The most interesting was the discovery of the sellar in Mali vrh, where supposedly tithe for Pakenštajn castle was collected. The oldest part of the building is bathtub-like vaulted wine sellar with perfect but fragmentally preserved Renaissance paintings on the outside: big stitched corners, profiled window frames and decorative band of palmettes. Found parts of nonglazed tiles with wallpaper pattern confirm that the origins of the building are from mid-16th century to mid-17th century. The building was not known nor protected in expert circles even if it is excellent monument which belongs to the circle of nobles architecture.« Maybe in this case these are that sellar...

The building, depicted by Vischer in 1681, shows typical image of Renaissance mansion with corner towers at the roof and rectangular Renaissance defence wall reinforced with bastions on the corners. This image of the building does not correspond to the characteristics of the preserved ruins. Unfortunately I do not have any image. Likewise in Kaiser's depiction we cannot find any characteristics which could be linked to present ruins.

When you drive through Šmartno ob Paki towards Velenje, you will see in front of "ERA vino" store a wooden direction sign, which among others shows the direction towards "stari grad" ("old castle") to the right. Some 10 meters ahead a view to the ruins will open on the left.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Solčavskim in Kobanskim", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1993, ISBN /
Contact details:
Web links:
Šmartno ob Paki (Rotary Klub Velenje)
Shows and entertainment:
Various meetings and events, also concerts. Inner ward can accept a lot of people and a concrete stage is visible on a place of the former house, attached to the tower.
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 20.085' E 15° 2.005'


Ruined wall of south-western corner with its irregular construction
Same wall from which visually steps out the shape of walled-in window
North-eastern corner
North-western corner where we can by looking closely see phases of its upgrading
On the inside of the north-western corner, where the tower was connected to a later attached house, a console with gutter is visible; visible bricks are witnesses of later reconstructions; it is possible that a passage was once here but was later walled-in
Buttress is attached to north-eastern corner; buttresses were mostly typical for Renaissance constructions, but here it probably appears due to relatively thin walls of the tower
View on a ruins of a tower from northern elevation
View towards north-western courtyard and a pub of Apicultural society
"Nether", lower courtyard
View from western direction of remains of the tower, of a house, which was once attached to the tower on this side, no remains are visible
Visible remains of the defence wall or a building on the western side
Defence wall, which divides lower and upper level of inner ward
Remains of the defence wall or a foundations of a building on far south side
Remains of the defence wall, which holds to the north-western corner of the tower; with it once an inner ward was surrounded so the building gained the form of a castle
Defence wall is supposed to be around 60 cm thick but it seems that it's only around half of that thickness
Ruins of Pakenštajn castle, drawing H. Kartina, 1913; from photo lobrary of ZVNKD RS in Ljubljana
Pakenštajn manor, old Kaiser's suite from around 1830