Pišece (castle)

13th century

The first mentioning of the Pišece castle in sources dates back to 1329 as haus Pischaetz, followed by vest Pischatz in 1346, in 1426 vest Pischecz and in 1443 as gesloss Pischecz. It was built by archbishops of Salzburg on the eastern outskirts of their estate in Posavje, which were spread from Sevnica through Rajhenburg - Brestanica and Brežice to outfall of river Sotla into river Sava and were bordered by brook Dramlje on northeast. It was supplied by ministerials among which as the first Konrad is mentioned between the years 1268 and 1300 nad his brother Ekhard (1268). Pišece is in mediaeval sources refered to as Bischaez which supposedly means "bei der schanz" - at vallums, which could indicate a very old fort.
Knights of Pišece died out around 1353 and afterwards the castle was managed by archbishop's caretakers. In 1406 the castle was pawned to Žiga of Dobrna for the amount of 3000 Hungarian florints. In 1426 the caretaker was Friderik Rad senior, between 1454 and 1536 Žiga Mordachs and his successors, followed by Jurij of Rajhenburg whose widow handed over the estate to government councillor from Salzburg dr.Johan Marschalk in 1542. Afterwards they were renting out the castle. In 1590 the castle was owned by Hans Khiessl and in 1595 it was bought together with Sevnica and Reštanj by Inocenc noble Moscon for the amount of 33000 goldinars. The purchase initiated lawsuits of long duration but the dispute was decided in 1637 in benefit of Moscons. Archbishop of Salzburg kept supreme feudal right to the castle until 1803 and family Moscon remained as the owners until the last war. Only a decade ago there were apartments in the castle and currently reconstruction works are in progress. Placer of the order: Republic of Slovenia, Ministry for culture, type of work: static reconstruction with facades and reconstruction of supporting walls and terraces (source: National gazette nr.61, nr.344/04).

In 1573 at the time of peasant revolt the castle was not affected but in 1661 on Christmas day the subjects killed Hans Jakob Moscon and his wife Elizabeta. The story continues that their son Johan Baptist was saved by mere coincidence and afterwards his revenge against peasants was severe. Another story talks of young wife who was closed into a room on the castle. After seventy years of imprisonment she died erring; at the end she was playing only with dolls.

More important reconstructions on the castle were in 1568. This year is supposed to be engraved on a plate in the south wall of the castle, but I could not locate it (maybe it was removed at the beginning of current reconstruction works). Works were in progress again in the Baroque era, neo-Romanesque change which expresses itself particularly in architectural elements, designing of window openings, two-light or three-light windows on a tower and other places was brought to the castle by modernization between the years 1867 and 1884. The origins of castle's oldest element, Romanesque era tower, could be dated to 12th century or at least the early 13th century. Four memorial plates are located in the parish church, on of them represents more than 300 years long period of barons Moscon in Pišeče castle.

In place Pišeče also an interesting blacksmith museum is located at Podgoršek family and there I found out that Pišeče castle had its own blacksmith's workshop. I couldn't determine where exactly was this workshop located. The path to the castle is marked, also a road to castle's base is arranged. In the year 1999 the area of Pišece castle was proclaimed as a cultural monument of the state importance.

Remark: I.Stopar at his discussing of the castle doubtfuly marks cardinal directions; ie. solemn hall is by my opinion located in the palatium, which holds to the eastern wall of the castle (so eastern palatium) and not northern wall. If anyone thinks I'm wrong, please correct me.

Kos, Dušan, Dr.: "Vitez in Grad", Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, ISBN 961-6500-82-1
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
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GPS coordinates:
N 46° 0.381' E 15° 38.224'


View from north
Top of the Romanesque tower from western direction
North wing with elbow-shaped defence wall behind which a Romanesque tower is rising
Eastern wall surrounded with scaffolding
Southern wall with semi-circular apse, which was underpinned, so it gained the shape of leaned semi-tower, and was later superstructured
Two-light windows in three-storey Renaissance tower
Eastern wall in which the entrance portal is located
Entrance portal
Southern and western residential wings are above the entrance portal and in each floor connected with corridors decorated with two-light windows
Nicely ornamented earthen stove from the 19th century with initial M (Moscon); two of these are preserved on the castle
One of the rooms in the first floor of eastern (northern?) wing in which a wall painting is preserved with Baroque images of all the castles, which were once property of Moscon family
Another view on the paintings
Entrance to the chapel above which a Maltese cross is painted (type Formée, maybe Pattée)
Interior of the Romanesque chapel in south-eastern residential wing
Altar with year 1768, which was put here by baron Franc Karl Moscon
Bell tower above the chapel
Courtyard-side wall of eastern wing
Attic of western wing, renewed in 2003 (source: National gazette of RS nr. 033, nr. 40101-4/2003)
Juncture of eastern and southern residential wing near which the entrance to the chapel is located; all wings are two-storeys high
Mighty four-storeys high Romanesque tower with 2,5 meters thick walls and simple two-sided saddle-like roof, which was once of different shape (see depiction from year 1860)
The tower is connected to residential wing through mighty, on arcade leaning passage
Interior of the passage and the portal through which once Romanesque tower was accessible; access in the ground floor of the tower was made later
Kitchen in the eastern part of the ground floor of the tower
Drying room next to the kitchen with wooden stairs without landings; Romanesque loop-hole visible in the wall
North-eastern corner of the tower, which is built of large, correctly shaped stone blocks, layed in leveled position; it is said that stonecutter's marks are still visible on some of them
Hall of the ancestors or solemn hall with stucco ceiling in lords second floor (eastern wing); before the war oil portraits of Moscon family were located here (see photo at the end)
Through the hall is a way into the saloon (see photo at the end)
Stove in the small room in the floor of the western wing
Portal into the vaulted corridor, which connects southern and western wings
Baroque well taken apart in the middle of courtyard, waiting to be renovated; once on the courtyard also a Baroque obelisk was located
Stonecutter's marks are also visible in stone blocks in north-western Renaissance circular tower
The road to the castle leads pass the natural park with numerous interesting kinds of trees and bushes and this fish pond is part of the park
Remains of the building some ten meters north from the castle
Vachler (Wachtler?), oil on canvas, 1846, private property
C. Reichert, colored lithography, around 1860 (outtake); there is no trace of the garden and garden house as on the previous depiction from 1846; I don't exclude the possibility that the author added these elements fictitiously
Solemn hall in the eastern palatium, footage from before the war, author Donegani Zagreb
Saloon at the hall, footage from before the war, author Donegani Zagreb