Polzela (Komenda castle)

12th century

Ignac Orožen quotes the opinion of dr.Karlmann Tangl that the owner of the castle was already a margrave from Savinja valley Pilgrim von Hohenwarte. who is mentioned in some document from Oglej from 1149 as Pelegrinus de Puzol and in a document from Krško as Pilgrim von Potsul. The first undeniable knight of Polzela is mentioned in 1170, when Degnardus de Helenstein is mentioned as a witness. Between the years 1193 and 1220 Walter de Helenstein is mentioned and Hainricus de Heln and Otto iudex de Helnstein in 1229 and Fridericus de Hallensteyne in the year 1246. After the knights of Polzela died out priest Hartwig is mentioned as the owner of the castle between 1269 and 1286, who is also dean of Savinja valley. In 1323 the castle was already in posession of the Order of Maltesian knights (which is still active today), and was managed by commendatories, who resided on the castle along with parish vicar. At the valuation of the estate in 1542 the castle is explicitely mentioned for the first time as a house - Haus.
The last commendatory Franc noble Smidmer sold the castle on September 30th 1780 to Rajmund Novak, owner of the nearby castle and dominion Šenek. The castle was decaying more and more in the meantime. Only when Franc Maurer bought the castle and was taken over (presumably in 1869) by his son in law dr.Oskat Pongratz, the castle's roof was renewed and the castle was thoroughly repaired.

Only a decade ago residential quarters were arranged in the castle and a pub in the basement of the east wing. Nowadays a wooden staircase and residential quarters are almost totally destroyed, wallpapers torn off are still visible and burned candles in some rooms, which could indicate that Komenda castle is now a gathering place for drug addicts.
I.Stopar mentions that above staircase a bronze plaquette was embedded with a portrait of France Prešeren, slovenian poet. Because this plaquette is not there anymore, we cam presume that it was moved to a musem or stolen.
Antique lion and maltesian cross found their place in coat of arms of Polzela.

Stopar, Ivan, Dr.: "Grajske stavbe v vzhodni Sloveniji - Spodnja Savinjska dolina", Založba Park, Ljubljana, 1992, ISBN /
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Komenda (stari razglednici)
Komenda castle (Polzela) (Iz Wikipedije, proste enciklopedije)
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GPS coordinates:
N 46° 16.833' E 15° 04.362'


From north-west direction
Antique lion of marble from Pohorje; once stolen but soon recovered and put into the place where it belongs
North-eastern surrounding wall, reinforced with three buttresses in the 16th or 17th century
Keyhole shaped arrow-loop (from 15th century) on the south-east side of the castle, carved from sandstone; another one (masoned) is located on the north-east wall
South-eastern corner with built-in arrow-loop and visible walled-in window
Another keyhole shaped arrow-loop
Arrow-loop of interesting shape, located on the eastern part right under the roof
Embedded coat-of-armes plate or maybe fragments of window frame
Remains of the south part of the castle, where once a chapel of St.Ulrik was located (it was intentionally demolished by its new owner), outbuildings and 2 staircases
Ruins in the south part, which shows us ground plan of castle design
South part of the courtyard is closed by massive wall of cut stone, which has a concrete terrace arranged in the level
North-east corner of the castle courtyard
Demolished entrance staircase on the eastern side
Semicircular portal with skimmed edge on the courtyard side of the west wing, which leads to the cellar;west wing is the oldest and it hides the original palas (solar)
Arched western castle cellar
Gothic portal
This kind of creatures should be transferred to a musesum as soon as possible; probably only their weight stops the thieves from stealing them
Windows and doors renewed (modernized) in the 19th century in teh first floor; wallpapers on the wall are probably from the time of the last residents
Divided interior of entrance corridor to a former pub
Basement in the eastern part of the castle with visible remains of former pub
North part of eastern wing - bar (toilet is also found in the same wing)
G. M. Vischer, castle Polzela; copper engravingfrom Book of castles, around 1681; castle is visible from the western direction,Novi Klošter is visible behind the castle, a stream in front of the castle, river Savinja (Saan Fluß) is shown simbolicaly, also castle Ojstrica on the far right