Podčetrtek (castle)

13th century

Podčetrtek belongs among the oldest castles in the country. It was once located at an old national border, at Sotla river facing Croatia or Hungary. Its Slovene name is not in any way connected to its German name. Town got its name by the fourth day of the week (thursday - Slovene "četrtek") when under castle's dominion judicial and marketing day was happening in the borough. The name is derived from two words po and četrtek (similar as in Podsreda castle).
Podčetrtek is located in the area of former Hema's estates in Savinjska marka which already in 1071 became a property of Krško diocese. Even if the origins of the castle undoubtfully date into very early era - its construction can be dated to a time after the first third of the 12th century, it is relatively late mentioned in sources. First direct mentioning of the castle is found in 1361 (even if settlement Podčetrtek is mentioned in 1016 and 1213) when it is refered to as B>castrum Lansperch, in 1279 as castrum Landsperch and in 1353 as vest Lantsperch. In 1424 it is mentioned as haws and in 1453 again as vest.
First known knight from Podčetrtek was ministerial of Krško Oton, son of Engelschalk from Podčetrtek - Otto filius Enscalci de Landesperc who is mentioned in 1209 and remained as castellan until 1227. In 1213 Fr. de Lonsperch is mentioned (Stopar). Management and guarding of the castle were then trusted to a new family. From 1228 castellans were brothers Valter and Ditrik and brothers Albreht and Bertold joined them. All of them were in 1251 and 1261 marked as castellans and ministerials. Their names also suited family of lords of Lindek. in the 1270s no one was known that could be considered as castellan on Podčetrtek. At the end of 13th century (1287) castellans were Herbrand of Metnitz, Albreht Halbstat and Konrad of Gruslupp. Konrad in 1304 with permission of his son Ditzel (Ditrik) sold the tower from the castle to bishop. At least in 1287 manager of dominion assigned by Krško was Ditzmann or Ditzel who along with Bertold carried official title cup bearer. Ditzel performed his duty until cca.1319. Ditzmann was one of numerous Ramschüssels. Also mentioning of Uschalk are following but he died before 1329. Ekhard Treuner (of Treunsk - Rogatec) became the new castellan who was replaced before 1339 by Sigmar of Ploštanj. In 1348 cup bearer Bertold is mentioned (Perchtold der Schenche von Lantzsperch), in 1358 Alhoch and in 1369 Nikolaj (probably Nikolaj of Šalek). After some dispute with his father castellan job over the castle was taken by Nikolaj's son Erhard (to the beginning of the 15th century). In 1403 some Rajker is mentioned together with Konrad (until around 1412). In 1423 Henrik with his wife Kunigunda and in 1446 Viljem. As last of his descent Hans is mentioned who was killed in some battle.
On 12th of November 1441 bishop of Krško Johan temporarily gave his castles Pilštanj, Podčetrtek, Bizeljsko and Mokronog to emperor Friderik IV. who kept them until 1445, Afterwards the castle was governed by managers and between 1479 and 1490 it was in the hands of Hungarian army. In 1515 the castle succumbed to peasant revolt.
In 1527 the manager of the castle became Hans Tattenbach and his successors leased and rented the castle and not earlier than 1612 Krško diocese imparted them the castle as heritable or private possession. At the execution of Erazem Tattenbach in 1628 the castle was confiscated by the province from which Ignac Attems bought the castle for 72000 fl. Attems' later arranged a chapel of St.Jurij in the castle which is first time indirectly mentioned as late as in 1784. The castle was completely renovated in 1874 and remained a property of Attems' until the last world war.
After the war when the castle became a general public property it served various purposes and gradually it was soon completely robbed. Only a few artworks were rescued and are stored by Posavski muzej in Brežice. Lastly apartments were in the castle and even a private chicken farm and nowadays it is empty and will soon collapse without proper restoration intervention. Lately it attracted various villains which destroyed few furnaces and even stole bot heraldic plates which were embedded in the hall. One of the plate was recovered by a lucky coincidence by a Service of monument protection.

On Stari grad fallow, not far above the castle, in the ground are still visible traced of fortified post. Central levelled ground is of oval shape with a diameter of around 20 meters and underneath some kind of semicircular pier, remains of now filled up defensive moat. Location and the extent of ancient fort tell a thesis that these are traces of mediaeval exposed defence tower which protected the castle in case of an attack from the hillside. (Not verified on site.)

As an interesting fact it should be mentioned that there is unusually many closets (toilets) on Podčetrtek castle. You will have trouble locating this many on any other Slovene castle.

* Mentionings of castellans in early years are mostly according to Kos because Stopar doesn't cite them.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Med Kozjanskim in porečjem Save", Viharnik, Ljubljana, 1993, ISBN 961-6057-00-6
Kos, Dušan, Dr.: "Vitez in Grad", Založba ZRC, ZRC SAZU, 2005, ISBN 961-6500-82-1
Municipality of Podčetrtek (Podčetrtek castle)
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Podčetrtek (burger.si)
Municipality of Podčetrtek (Podčetrtek castle)
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GPS coordinates:
N 46° 9.550' E 15° 35.552'


Western facade of the castle
South-western tower
Baroque window frames in the floor of eastern wing, where segmentally formed foreheads interchange with triangular one
Baroque entrance portal
On the north side an inner ward is added to the castle, composed of two individual units, divided by defence wall; view eastern part of inner ward where once auxiliary outbuildings were located
Some keyshaped arrow-loops can be found in the eastern wall of inner ward
From the plane a path is leading between the outer defence wall and defence wall of a pen towards the castle core
Path is finished just at the entrance to the castle stables, which is from the east leaning on the central building
Inside of castle stable which was added to eastern wing
Baroque entrance portal leads us through the staircase to the hall
Attems' coat-of-arms is embedded on the forehead of the portal
Marble heraldic plates were embedded in the wall at the sides in the hall with coat-of-arms of Ivan Krištof Tattenbach, combined with coat-of-arms of his wife Judita Resch
In the west corners of the courtyard half (two parts of quarter) of Baroque well ring are standing
Internal facade of the most eminent southern wing and is the only one vaulted in the ground floor
Star-ceiling in the ground floor of south-eastern tower
Dented ceiling in the room above the stable
Stove (kitchen-range) in the room, which was probably the kitchen in the ground floor of southern wing at south-eastern tower
Stove on the other side of the room
Some outpouring opening in the wall
Through the portal from the hall in south wing special underground sellar is accessible
Basement continues into a south-western tower
Placed wooden beams as a sub-construction for turning cannons in defence tower
Outpouring opening the the room
Portal which connects kitchen through a steep passage in the floor with the room in south-eastern tower; room is also accesible through passage at the end of the stable
Staircase with middle landing, once decorated with Baroque balustrade fence which connects floors in the southern wing
In floored hall of southern wing a ceiling is dented like in a lot of other places on the castle
Hall ceiling with stucco
Baroque stucco ornaments on the ceiling of one of more eminent rooms in the floor of south wing
Ceiling in the floor of south-eastern wing
Demolished Baroque Venetian-type altar in a chapel in the floor of northern wing
Big room in the second floor of south wing, which was once painted with frescos
Part of the northern wall which collapsed in the spring of 1979 but was rebuild by local residents
Room in the second floor of northern wing with demolished stove
Corridor in second floor of north wing
Roof of south-western tower
11x3 axial, two-storeys high Baroque castle granary on the way to the castle
Vaulted basement
View of Podčetrtek town
Ignacij Flurer, Landscape with Podčetrtek castle (detail), first half 18th century, on display in Posavski muzej Brežice
Podčetrtek castle on copper engraving from Vischer's Topographia of Styria, around 1681
C. Reichert, Podčetrtek castle, colored lithography, around 1860
Podčetrtek castle from east, photo from time before the war, archive ZVNKD Celje
Heraldic plate of with coat-of-arms of Tattenbachs and Reschs (was embedded in the eastern hall)