Planina (castle)

12th century

Planina once belonged among the most important feudal estates of Krško in Slovene part of Styria. First knight of Planina, ministerial of Krško by name Ortolf is not mentioned until 1190, when he is refered to as Ortolfus de Munparis. So the original castle was allready standing at the time, but is not mentioned in written sources until 1227 when it is refered to as castrum Momparis. In the year 1250 it is refered to as castrum Mvnparis, in 1301 as burg vnd vest Montpreis, in 1320 as vest Monpreis and in 1478 as gsloss Montpreis.
Knight of Planina were domineering the castle until mid 13th century, when the last knight of Planina died just before the year 1250, knight Ulrik, married to Heraldis, daughter of Friderik IV. of Ptuj. Ownership of the castle then went into the hands of the lords of Ptuj, which adopted the name "knights of Planina", and later the castle became posession of Counts of Celjem when Henrik and Ulrik sold the castle in 1341 to Ulrik of Žovnek. After 1456 the castle's ownership was provincial prince.
Among important provincial prince's tenants is noble Jošt Jožef baron Thurn, which received the castle in 1564 from Archduke Karel and was its owner until 1576. He is follwed by tenant Jurij Ainkhürn, after 1588 the dominion along with the castle went into the hands of Moscon family. When Moscon family was in posession the castle, at the time of peasant revolt in 1635, the rebels broke in to the castle and partially demolished it. After the death of Franc Anton Moscon (1763), the last count of Planina from the Moscon family, the castle and the estate go into posession of Franc Anton Prothasij arounf the year 1768. The castle stays in their posession until 1823 when they are succedded by nobe Jurij Maček (until 1830) and after him by his relative dr.Jožef Gorišek (until 1851), baron Uso Kinsberg and noble J.Holand Gründenfels until 1863, when the estate was assumed by Count noble Gustav Bloome. The castle, which was allready in a very bad shape at the time, was repaired soon after 1830 by its owner at the time Gorišek. Bloome had plans to thoroughly reconstruct renew the castle, but the renovation was never completed becasue of the weak terain, which would not withstand new extensions. After thet the castle was let to its own destiny, and in 1868 below the castle a villa was build, where they have moved.
In 1882 they started to sistematically knock down the castle, in 1883 2 castle towers have fallen apart and in 1895 the last one because of the great earthquake. Between the years 1962 and 1964 they tried to clean the castle and strengthen the walls but the works were stopped due to lack of finances.

Plnina castle was build right above the homonymous borough on the steep cliff at the top of ridge which is on the northern side slowly descenting in to the valley. Castle core forms an imposing solar tower of roughly rectangular ground plan, which if with its south wall leaning directly on the edge of the cliff. Solar tower was once two-storey on southern and northern side. Primary romanesque solar tower in preserved in two peripheral walls and in part of the third, while the fourth, as much of it that is not hidden inside nowadays gothic wall, once along with the part of the cliff crashed down to the valley. Thickness of the layers in northwest corner of solar tower is determined by original carved corner stones, but the original southeast corner must have collapsed once (maybe fire? - scorched rocks shows that this could be the case) and was rebuilt in the gothic era. Southern part of solar tower is in todays image gothic. In the astern part of the solar a gothic chapel was built in the 14th century which had three-sided key stone on the east side and two large two-partial windows. Four-cornered, nowadays totally ruined, tower in the role of bergfried (keep), was leaning on the solar on the west side.
The castle was once well protected. On south side and partially on the east side there was inaccessible cliff, and on the north side it was protected by imposing, almost 2 and a half meters thick wall, and on the east side a narrow, in the rock encarved staircase was leading into the defence wall. The way tho the castle was especially proteted.

The castle is now being reconstructed and is inaccesible for visitors, because walking in the ruins can be very dangerous. We can get through to the castle core by going around the fence on the north and go up to the former castle courtyard. If we descend a little at the northern wall, we'll find former defence wall and later an interesting portal, which leads a few meters inside of constructed cave. Portal and the cave are on the last three photos on the right. I could not find any information about this cave and its purpose. We can find a similar room, which the most reminds of a tomb, on Turjak castle. On the western cliff the foundations of a very important defence tower, of which almost no trace can be seen today, were discovered a few decades ago. During excavations arrow points were found which were dated back to the 14th century.

More can be found in the literature below.

Currently there are reconstruction works in progress on the castle, which are being carried out by company Tajfun.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Gradovi na Slovenskem", Cankarjeva založba, 1987, ISBN 86-361-0280-4
Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Razvoj srednjeveške grajske arhitekture na slovenskem štajerskem", Slovenska matica Ljubljana, 1977
Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Kozjanskim in porečjem Save", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1993, ISBN 961-6057-00-6
Contact details:
Web links:
Planina at Sevnica introduces
Planina at Sevnica
Planina at Sevnica
Shows and entertainment:
On the other side of the castle a granary and viewing platform are arranged; space in front of a castle is now arranged and suitable for events
GPS coordinates:
N 46° 06.346' E 15° 24.229'


Under the castle, where a walking path leads to the top
Even closer to the rocky ridge on which the castle is standing
Plate, embedded into the rock on the way up
Romanesque defence wall with romanesque portal, two preserved light loops are still visible
North from current west entrance into the castle
Small tower at the western entrance
Inside of the castle, southern gothic wall and northern romanesque wall are visible
Northern wall at the castle core, leaning on the courtyard
Castle water well without puteal on the courtyard
Nortern castle wall at the castle courtyard, typical romanesque style of construction is visible
Northern wall, semicircular bulwark is visible
Utmost northern defence wall at former castle courtyard
Romanesque window with visible typical romanesque bconstruction style, openings are visible, in which wooden or metal cages were probably put in
View towards western romanesque portal from the inside
Solar of castle core (from 2005, before renovation), view towards east
Southern wall, which leans on the edge of rocky cliff
View of a landscape from cliff towards south-west
Western romanesque small towers from inside
View through a window in a north wall
View through a hole towards modern western defence wall
In south and some other walls bricks are visible, which indicates renovation in the renaissance era
Romanesque window in southern wall
Gothic profiled stone window frame with traces of mullions
Wooden arches in the window in the western wall
Fallen away stones in the north-east part of the castle core, which are being used for reconstruction works on the castle
Northern wall - two floors
Closed romanesque window
Northern defence walls
Close to the castle on the northern hillside we find a cave which was used as a natural ice store
Final wall
Old suite of Kaiser, around the year 1830; collored lithography with needle
Wachtler, sepia, begining of 19th century; Graz, Regional archive of Styria
Planina castle on the image from 1868